Queensland Budget burden unfairly falls on family electrical businesses

Master Electricians Australia RSS Feed

15 June 2016

Queensland electricians have today expressed disappointment that the State Government is seeking to balance its budget by siphoning money from family-owned contracting businesses.

Master Electricians CEO Malcolm Richards said the State Government was relying on significant dividends from its electricity corporations, including the new Energy Queensland, in order to achieve its Budget revenue projections.

And he questioned the decision to spend $40 million trying to attract businesses from interstate when the Government’s own actions were poised to do so much harm to local business owners and their employees.

“The State Government has already signalled its intention to send Energy Queensland into direct competition with mum-and-dad electrical businesses across the state,” Mr Richards said.

“They have outlined no plans to grow the size of the electrical contracting sector in the state, and will therefore only be taking work that is currently performed by private businesses.

“In most cases, these are small businesses whose owners have spent years of investment and hard work to carve out a position in a very competitive market.

“Now their hard work – and the jobs of their apprentices and employees – are being put at risk because the Queensland Government has said it wants its new corporation to compete in this space.

“But the simple fact is small businesses cannot compete against the might of the State Government, with its easy access to taxpayers’ money and its control of electrical industry regulation.

“This is like the State Government paying Coles and Woolworths to set up across the street from the local corner store.

“It might help to increase Government revenue and make the Budget look good, but it’s money that’s coming straight out of the pockets of existing small business owners.

“It’s unfair to ask one sector to pay such a high price to balance the books, and Master Electricians will continue to fight this attack on our sector.”

Malcolm Richards is available for interviews.

Contact SAS Media and Communications on 07 3171 2960 or 0467 792 013.