The Nationals Gippsland South Tim Bull Electricity Utilities Cost of living Inquiry

Labor’s surging power price crisis

The National Members for Gippsland East and Gippsland South, Tim Bull and Danny O’Brien, say our rural families and businesses are paying too much for energy.

The National Members were commenting after an Independent Review into the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria found regional consumers in areas with only one gas or electricity provider are paying significantly more than those with the ability to shop around.

Mr O’Brien said much of his electorate only had one choice for their gas supplier.

“The city-centric Andrews Government knows energy prices are soaring and the only solution they have offered to consumers is to shop around for a better deal.

“That’s not a good enough answer for anyone, let alone for people who only have access to one supplier.”

The review also found a confusing pricing structure meant it was near impossible for many families to shop around for energy deals and compare prices.

Mr Bull said it was evident that energy had become unaffordable, largely due to the full closure of Hazelwood, rather than having a gradual closure.

“Energy prices are soaring and I have heard first hand people are going to bed early evening as they are scared about the cost of turning the heater on.

“Labor commissioned this report, they appointed the investigators and they now have to act.”

Mr O’Brien said the closure of Hazelwood Power Station in March saw 750 people lose their jobs and left Victoria with no alternative to make up the baseload power supply that was lost.

“If Daniel Andrews was serious about energy affordability for Victorian households and businesses, he wouldn’t have forced the premature closure of the Hazelwood Power Station by tripling the coal royalty.

“Labor has made a habit of pointing the finger and hoping the Federal Government will fix things for them.

“Daniel Andrews needs to step up to the plate and act immediately to lower prices for Gippsland consumers.

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