by Jim Alouat
A BARGARA resort owner, paying more than $100,000 a year in power bills, says he could be forced to lay-off staff if things didn't improve.
Manta Bargara Resort owner Roger Shuttleworth said rising electricity prices were crippling his business and hurting the growing tourism industry as a whole.
"It's rather unfortunate because the big success story in Bargara has been tourism,” Mr Shuttleworth said.
"The last thing we need is to have power prices we can't absorb and we have to pass them off.
"The first thing a guest does when they come into an apartment is turn on the light and if they're from down south, they turn on the air con.”
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said there wasn't a local business or family he had met with that wasn't hurting from rising power prices.
"I have witnessed first-hand the impact of higher electricity prices on families, small businesses and industries in the Bundaberg region,” Mr Bennett said.
"Businesses are facing the harsh reality of having to increase prices or reduce hours of their employees due to these rising electricity costs.
"Power bills have reached record levels under Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor and there is no relief in sight for households or small businesses.”
But Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson said the LNP had no credibility on energy policy.
"Their suggestion that debt and dividends are influencing power prices just goes to show their lack of basic understanding of how the energy market works, and further demonstrates their lack of credibility on energy policy,” she said.
"The LNP have failed to apologise for the 43% electricity price surge under the Newman/Nicholls government who had a record majority and still did nothing to stabilise electricity prices.
"Power prices have been driven up this year by the failures of the federal Coalition government playing politics with the National Electricity Market and the results of privatisation of energy assets in other states.”