Sep 2, 2022 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2022

Australian food and beverage manufacturers across regional Australia looking to lower their energy costs and reduce emissions have been snubbed by the Albanese Labor Government.

After more than 100 days in Government, Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen have failed to deliver small grants to 800 businesses such as dairies, wineries, breweries, coffee roasters, bakers and ice-cream makers that were successful applicants in the Energy Efficiency Communities (EEC) grants program.

Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Senator Perin Davey, said a number of businesses in regional Australia have been forced to put projects on hold as Labor stalls.

“In NSW alone, around 224 small to medium enterprises were eligible for these grants that are now in limbo,” she said.

“Each day Labor delays, food and beverage manufacturers, many of whose are in regional areas, continue to be hit with increasing power costs.

“The energy efficiency grants set up by the Liberal and Nationals in Government can not only help the industry reduce these costs, but their also an important tool as we move to a lower emissions future,” Senator Davey said.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Ted O’Brien, said the Albanese Labor Government should put politics aside and honour the $19.9 million investment from the May budget.

“Energy costs are one of the biggest overheads for any regional area and the Albanese Labor Government has left 800 Australian food and beverage manufacturers in the dark for over 100 days since coming to office.

“Food and beverage manufacturers are grappling with soaring power prices and Albanese and Bowen have got the handbrake on.

“Labor must honour the commitment made to these businesses to help them reduce their energy costs,” Mr O’Brien said. The EEC program made grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 available through a competitive process for businesses to implement energy efficiency practices and technologies, and better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills.