46. Everyone has to pay for Electricity (Eaturitj #7)

Podcasts 7 of 7. Richard Trudgen was asked to find out how much the ALPA (Arnhem Land Progress Association) stores pay for electricity to run their business. This podcast answers that question (hint – it’s a lot of money!)

It’s used as an example to explain that everyone has to pay for power/electricity and that the amount paid depends on how much power is used. Also that when running a business these costs add to the price of food/goods. It’s mentioned that in the NT the government also subsidies electricity costs to remote communities.

It’s also an example of the costs incurred when lights, fridges, freezers, air-con etc, operate day and night and it’s explained that household need to operate differently and reduce power use and costs by switching some things off.

Nikunu and Richard talk about different ways of buying power. One being people/organisations who receive power bills (in a contract arrangement with the electricity company), and the other is buying power cards (paying in advance) as happens on many Yolngu communities. Nikunu shares the history of the arrival of electricity in his community, saying he didn’t grow up with it and that many people still don’t know how electricity is made or that you have to pay for it. Richard talks about the history of government subsidised power in the NT, specifically for remote communities.


There are 4 Stories in this podcast. See the time stamps below.

  • Cost of electricity in ALPA Stores . 46 1 -4 – 00:00
  • Everyone has to pay for electricity across Australia – 9:48
  • Why do Yolngu use Power Cards – 20:36
  • History of electricity in Yolngu Communities – 29:45