small business | October 10, 2017

52% Power Rise Crippling RSL

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP and Shadow Minister for Veterans, Tim McCurdy MP have met with Horsham RSL representatives to hear firsthand the challenges in managing skyrocketing power prices.

In August 2016, the Horsham RSL used 31,033.73 kWh costing $5,500.98. In August 2017 they used 29,767.612 kWh costing $8,359.04.

“Despite power saving initiatives and the Horsham RSL reducing their energy usage by 1,266.118 kWh, they have still experienced a $2,858.06 or massive 52% cost increase,” Ms Kealy said.

“This significant price rise is impacting on their ability to offer welfare services to our returned war veterans and their families,” she said.

Emma Kealy also raised concerns in Parliament last month saying more than one business a day is now contacting her office to raise concerns about the impact of rising power bills.

Skyrocketing power prices is not only hurting local businesses, with households also experiencing significant increases.

“Labor’s reckless policies that led to the closure of Hazelwood power station means power prices are going through the roof due to insufficient supply,” Ms Kealy said.

“When Daniel Andrews failed to stop the closure of Hazelwood, he said energy bills would rise about four per cent, but we now know the increase is far higher.

“If Daniel Andrews was serious about energy affordability for Victorian households and businesses, he wouldn’t have allowed Hazelwood Power Station to close with no backup plan,” she said.

Local small businesses and households have also reported massive increases in their gas bills, making it harder to operate in country Victoria.

“I have repeatedly approached the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio regarding excessive gas pricing and the monopoly situation that exists in the Wimmera with only one gas provider available,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Minister made a commitment in early 2015 to develop supply competition in the area to protect the interests of local residents but has taken no action to provide the opportunity for another provider to enter the market, leaving local residents with no choice of supplier.

“Daniel Andrews needs to act immediately on power prices instead of pointing the finger and hoping the Federal Government will fix his energy affordability mess.

"I will continue to actively pursue this important matter to ensure that fair energy prices are offered to Lowan electorate residents," she said.

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