Member for Morwell Russell Northe has made a contribution on the electorate’s behalf in Parliament towards new legislation that seeks to reduce energy prices in Victoria.
“Last week, the Victorian Parliament debated the Energy Legislation Amendment (Victorian Default Offer) Bill 2019”, Mr Northe said, “this new legislation has the aim to provide fairer electricity prices to consumers, implementing recommendations contained in an Independent review, including a default offer that retailers must deliver to consumers”.
Default offers currently provided by energy retailers are generally at the higher end of the price spectrum so for the Minister to be able to direct the Essential Services Commission to set a default energy price is a positive step in the right direction.
The rising costs of energy prices has been a real concern for individuals, families and businesses which has been contributing to high costs of living. “A huge concern of our local community was the premature closure of Hazelwood Power Station which not only saw the loss of local jobs, but security of supply threatened in addition to a massive increase in energy prices”, Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said, “that the State Governments policies to close Hazelwood and tax Latrobe Valley power stations an extra $252 million could only culminate in one outcome for consumers – energy prices skyrocketing, despite the Government claiming it would not cause prices to rise more than 4%, or less than a dollar a week”.
Post the closure of Hazelwood Power Station closing we have seen the loss of so many local jobs, Victoria having to import power from other States, diesel generators being installed as back up, businesses compensated millions of dollars to close their operations on hot days, load shedding taking place with customers been taken off line, prices going through the roof – if anyone thinks these are good outcomes or acceptable in a modern world – well they certainly think different to me.
“Whilst I commend any initiatives that reduce cost pressures for hard-working people, businesses and families, I am not sure how successful this legislation will be with a number of people already shopping around for the best deal”, Mr Northe said.
“It is extremely complex, setting a default offer, with many risks identified and let’s not forget it is this Government who implemented deregulation in 2009 which was supposed to lower energy prices – which has failed”.
“I’ve ensured the Government are aware of these concerns, and I’ll be closely watching the Government’s introduction of this legislation and ensuring they are well-aware of the impact to our electorate”.
It is important that people use the tools available to them to find the best energy deal for them. The Governments $50 Power Saving Bonus is also available up until the 30th June, 2019 with further details available at: https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/