Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has highlighted statistics from the annual Victoria Energy and Water Ombudsman report that shows a huge jump in complaints related to new energy connections.
“I have been telling the Government for months that Gippsland builders and home-owners have had to contend with extensive connection delays, which has added considerable cost and frustration for our local building industry,” said Mr Northe.
Builders have been forced to acquire or lease generators so they can work on building sites, whilst some home owners have not been able to move into their new homes because of this issue, and this is simply unacceptable.
“This year I’ve raised this matter in Parliament to the Energy Minster, Lily D’Ambrosio, to urgently intervene and resolve the current situation, and so have other MP’s”, Mr Northe said, “this matter is affecting local businesses and their customers – but the State Government have done absolutely nothing to rectify the issue”.
For the Minister to simply suggest that those impacted report their issues to EWOV is not the answer to the solution. Now that the evidence is clear in that there is a massive connection issue, what is the State Government going to do to fix this? This is the same question I have been asking for months, and still without an answer.
Despite the Governments ignorance to this issue, the Energy and Water Ombudsman’s annual report showed a huge jump in New Connection complaints in 2017/18, with over 1400 instances (ref).
“These results are a disgrace”, Mr Northe said, “we still have Builders that have to hire generators to enable them to undertake works at building sites, and further to that, customers can’t move into their new homes because their electricity and gas is not being connected in a timely manner,” Mr Northe said.
“On Friday, 4 May, the Andrews Government put out a media release headed ‘Quicker Electricity Connection Times For New Homes’”(ref), Mr Northe continued, “Within that, the Treasurer said he was
taking action to reduce delays and costs in connecting power to new homes. But the words in their media release are meaningless, and one only has to look at this recent report and the increase in
complaints, to clearly see that”.