High Australian power prices threaten jobs, hurt global competitiveness

Revelations in The Australian today that the US state of Pennsylvania has sought to poach Australian companies with a promise of “abundant’’ energy show that power price rises here are hurting the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.

It’s little wonder that overseas countries are trying to entice Australian manufacturers to relocate by promising low-cost, reliable energy.

Over the past decade, Australia has moved from having some of the lowest to some of the highest energy prices in the developed world.

Goldman Sachs also recently noted that wholesale electricity prices are expected to increase by another 20-30% in the medium term. Australia has already dropped from 10th to 21st on the Global Competitiveness Index.

“Unless serious efforts are made to reduce Australia’s energy costs, we should expect more global attempts to persuade our businesses to relocate, which will be bad news for economic growth and jobs” said David Byers, Interim Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia

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