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WA Accommodation Sector Facing Major Crisis

By Ian Neubauer

Conference delegates and business travellers could be turned away from hotels in Western Australia from next week because of an undersupply of clean sheets linked to the state’s gas shortage.

The WA accommodation sector is facing a daunting conundrum following a June 3 explosion at the Varanus Island gas processing plant that cut off a third of the state’s gas supply, The Australian Financial Review reported.

The shortage has impacted the operations of the state’s largest laundry contractor, Prime Laundry, which will be paying five times more for gas when its current gas allocation runs out on July 21.

Prime Laundry has said it could not absorb the additional energy cost and will have to pass it on to its clients, which in turn could be forced to pass on the cost to guests or turn them away to avoid operating at a loss.

Australian Hotel Association WA general manager, Paul Brockschlager, said the conundrum could create a major crisis for the state’s accommodation sector.

“Hotels potentially would be turning guests away — and these could be guests from as far as the UK or the US,” he told the newspaper.

“It would be extremely embarrassing for the state if people who have spent months organising and have spent serious money on trips and conventions can’t get a basic requirement in clean sheets,” he said.