Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate for the seat of Cootamundra, Matthew Stadtmiller, visited Cowra on Monday morning to address increasing electricity prices for people in rural areas.
Mr Stadtmiller met with Managing Director of Breakout River Meats, Mr Chris Cummins, who says he will be hit hard by the power price hike.
Mr Stadtmiller said Mr Cummins’ electricity bill will increase by $1.2 million, almost doubling last year's bill.
“We are in a horrendous situation where NSW is facing blackouts and the State Government isn’t acting in the right way,” Mr Stadtmiller said.
“I’m here with the Managing Director of Breakout River Meats, Mr Chris Cummins, and his electricity bill will increase by $1.2mil, or 100 per cent, by the start of 2018.”
Mr Stadtmiller said the NSW Liberal Government is at odds with the federal Liberal Government on electricity security, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying new power stations needed to be built in NSW.
“Don Harwin has come out and said that electricity and power generation is a private sector issue,” he said.
“This couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Mr Cummins says he is spending $1.5mil on upgrading plant equipment to be more energy efficient and installing a 1,500 kVA diesel generator to mitigate the effects of blackouts.
When pressed about the matter, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it is disappointing that Mr Cummins has decided to vote for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers based on electricity prices.
“I think that’s extremely disappointing because what’s the bet that same business person has benefited from a strong economy we have provided, all of the opportunities we have provided and if that person wants to support a party based on one issue, good luck to them,” she said.
The Premier also outlined the state government’s plans to try and reduce electricity prices, including increasing rebates by 20 per cent and a new scheme where small businesses can apply to have the state government pay up to half the costs to upgrade equipment.