Regional ratepayers will be feeling the sting of the Weatherill Government’s disastrous energy policies after the Local Government Association warned councils will pay 30 to 50 per cent more for electricity in 2017.

Like any business of scale, local government isn’t immune to electricity price cost pressures and two new energy (electricity) supply contracts negotiated by LGA Procurement on behalf of councils will see costs increase by 30-50 per cent in 2017. These escalating costs will put pressure on council rates. (LGA: State Budget Submission 2017-18, p. 33)

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said families and businesses living in the Riverland already struggle to afford skyrocketing electricity bills, without further increases. 

“With forecasts for councils’ electricity bills to rise significantly this year, families and businesses will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets at a time when they can least afford it,” Mr Whetstone said.

“The astronomical increases to council electricity bills will be passed onto ratepayers in what can only be described as another example of Labor’s failed energy policies in South Australia. 

“Councils, and in turn ratepayers, have already been hit by an increasing Emergency Services Levy and many land and water licence owners are also required to pay increasing NRM levies.

“This latest increase further highlights how the cost of electricity is embedded into the price of so much of what South Australians consume.

“Simple things such as the price of what we eat, what we drink and how we entertain ourselves, is impacted by increasing utility charges. 

“Regional South Australia is the engine room of the state’s economy, producing more than half of the state’s merchandise exports, and our businesses cannot afford continued increases in utilities, taxes and levies.”