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Rising energy costs - the sleeping giant in Northern Inland NSW

Rising energy costs have been identified by the NSW State Government and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) as the biggest impediment to economic development in Northern Inland NSW and an August forum will be held in Armidale to explore opportunities for the region to remain competitive.

The forum will bring some of the State’s foremost industry and government experts on energy to the region to discuss available options and what actions the region should take to ensure the best direction is followed for our energy future requirements.

“This is all about making sure industries in our region have a comparative advantage in relation to energy costs and access to these energy supplies. The ‘do-nothing’ alternative would only ensure that local industries will leave the region or significantly reduce their demand for labour as they try to reduce costs,” said RDANI Chair Mal Peters.

NSW Legislative Council Member Scot MacDonald is highly supportive of the concept. “The forum is about ensuring the region's economic future with the best energy strategy. Northern Inland NSW needs a competitive energy source so we can maintain and grow business and industry in the region. With the huge increase in electricity costs, both the private sector and government service providers are now finding it a major part of their operating costs and cheaper options must be found,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Economic development and people’s livelihoods are at risk if competitive energy prices are not available and RDANI in conjunction with the State government is keen to ensure that our region maintains its current industries and services while seeking growth in business and industry for future generations,” RDANI Chair Mal Peters concluded.

The forum, to be held in Armidale in late-August, is aimed at key industry stakeholders who will shortly receive an invitation from RDANI and the NSW State Government to attend.

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