Power bill increase impacting local health services
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, is concerned that local health services will be negatively impacted as Victoria’s skyrocketing energy costs take their toll.
New figures from Health Purchasing Victoria, the body which helps co-ordinate supply deals for Victoria’s public health sector, shows hospital and rural health services’ energy prices have as much as tripled this year.
Mr O’Brien said he had spoken to local service providers and was alarmed at the budget pressure being placed on them.
“Our health services are looking at huge annual increases in their power bills, meaning hundreds of thousands of dollars will be taken from other areas to cover the gap.
“Central Gippsland Health and Gippsland Southern Health Service are facing an annual increase of over $300,000 and $150,000 respectively.
“Gippsland Southern Health Service installed solar systems hoping to offset some of the costs, but even with the savings they are looking to be out of pocket over $100,000 each year!”
Mr O’Brien said the closure of Hazelwood Power Station in March saw 750 people in the Latrobe Valley lose their jobs and left Victoria with a shortage of baseload power supply that has seen power prices soar.
“Intermittent renewable energy has its place in our future energy mix, but we need a reliable source of baseload power.
“If Daniel Andrews was serious about energy affordability, he wouldn’t have forced the premature closure of the Hazelwood Power Station by tripling the coal royalty.
“The cost of these power bills will be a huge burden for our regional hospitals and small rural health services.
“Daniel Andrews has caused this power price crisis and must now ensure our hospitals are adequately funded to cover the increase in costs.”