Energy prices (14.11.2017)
Written on the 14 November 2017
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
I want to make a few comments in relation to the latest alarming news reports around the high cost of cooling.
I am particularly concerned about vulnerable Victorians who might be hit by the rising costs of electricity. In today's news it is reported that elderly Australians and other vulnerable householders are too scared to switch on air-conditioners or fans in heatwaves because of electricity costs, and they feel they are endangering their lives. We know that is the case here in Victoria. This is in contrast to what occurred in December of last year, when it was foreshadowed by Mr Southwick, the member for Caulfield in the Assembly, and others in the industry, that the cost of electricity would rise because of the impending closure of Hazelwood. The minister urged families to shop around and said that a government-ordered review of the retail market would check if price gouging was occurring.
This government has been absolutely hopeless on this issue. Victorians are very concerned about the rising prices. They are too scared to turn on their air conditioning in times of high temperatures, and they are going without. They are going without food, they are going without schoolbooks and they are going without other necessary amenities. Now we find out that the government is bringing diesel generators online to prop up the system. That will require 500 000 litres of diesel a day. It is just ludicrous that we are in this position because this government has shut down Hazelwood prematurely, causing untold distress to so many Victorians.