Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Statements by Members
I rise to commend the recent action by the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to direct the ACCC to review retail electricity prices. This is the first inquiry that the ACCC has undertaken into this, and it will be very welcome news for the hardworking families across my electorate on the Central Coast.
In fact, just over a week ago, I held a community forum at Umina Beach and received dozens of community surveys back from local residents. Again and again, these surveys showed what local residents tell me every single day—that the pressure from the rising cost of living is one of the top priorities we need to tackle to help make life easier for people on the Central Coast. These families will be pleased to know the consumer watchdog will investigate this issue thoroughly and will file an interim report within six months and then in detail by the middle of next year.
We know that electricity prices for households have doubled during the six years of the Labor government. Prices came down somewhat with the scrapping of the carbon tax, but recent upward pressure needs to be addressed in a way that protects families and businesses. That is why we are taking action in other areas, too, like delivering the Snowy Mountains scheme 2.0 to increase its generation capacity by 50 per cent, adding 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power 500,000 homes. The gas industry has also committed to cheaper, more reliable energy for households. Ensuring the lights stay on and prices are affordable is central to this government's approach to energy policy. (Time expired)