NATIONALS Senator John Williams said yesterday he was “irate” that a well run business which provided work for 68 Tamworth locals had a “bleak future ” on the eve of Christmas.
Senator Williams said he had raised the plight of GPA in the Senate in October.
“When I warned Minister Ludwig the $28,000 a month carbon tax on their electricity bill could cripple the company, he and his colleagues virtually laughed at me,” he said.
“They challenged me to table the accounts which I did, and have not heard one word from them since.
“Now reality has hit home.”
He also blamed the company’s carbon woes on independent MP Tony Windsor but Mr Windsor hit back yesterday, saying he had been aware of the financial problems the company had been facing for “some time”. “To simply blame the carbon tax is just being opportunistic,” Mr Windsor said.
“The reality is that GPA have only had to pay four lots of the carbon tax since it was brought in and those payments are a third of what the impost of rising electricity prices have been,” he said.
Senator Williams said he had met with GPA staff last month and it was evident then that the company was under considerable cost pressures.
“From a 75 per cent electricity price rise in three years due to the carbon tax and network charges, and the cost of purchasing wheat,” he said.
“There will be a flow-on negative effect on other Tamworth businesses.”
He said GPA approached the federal government for some relief as a trade-exposed industry but was denied assistance.