ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
An industry that once supported close to 15 000 workers is set to die in the coming months as South Australia’s candle industry teeters on the brink of collapse.
The demise has been blamed on the installation of the Telsa Jamestown battery, which has saved the city from being plunged into a blackout a number of times in recent months.
Only a handful of Adelaide candle shops remain in business as of today and one owner spoke to The Advocate candidly about the drop in business.
“It’s been real hard on the local wick, wax and candle industry this Telsa battery has,” said Gabriel Sock, owner-operator of The Candle Shop in Prospect.
“We’ve already laid off most of our staff. My kids are working here for nothing trying to keep the business afloat. Honestly, I don’t know how much longer we can go on like this,”
“The bank is breathing down our necks, we haven’t made a mortgage payment in three months and they’re threatening to foreclose on the shop. We need government assistance right now before the whole industry goes under. Help us, Malcolm Turnbull, help us.”
Candles were the most popular choice for most Adelaidanese people as well as the South Australian population on the whole when the power went out.
What used to be an almost daily occurrence, the state hasn’t suffered a power outage since the battery was switched on in late November.
The next premier of the state, Nick Xenophon, has vowed to tear the battery down and restore the older coal-fired power stations – which he hopes will ease the pressure on the local candle industry.
“Should I be elected to lead South Australia at the next election, my first priority will be to disable these ‘so-called’ battery packs,” he said.
“My office will hire a pair of D9’s and a length of good anchor chain and we’ll pull that country, push the batteries up in a heap and burn them down like we did with all the mulga back in the day,”
“It’s about protecting South Australian jobs and industry, not about lining the pockets of some overseas businessman with hair plugs and a Hugo Boss sports coat!”
More to come.