House debates

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Questions without Notice

Electricity Prices

2:46 pm

Photo of Michael SukkarMichael Sukkar (Deakin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Will the minister outline how councils have been passing on savings from the repeal of the world's biggest carbon tax to ease electricity price increases for Victorian families and businesses, including in the City of Whitehorse in my electorate of Deakin. Are there any threats to these plans?

Mr Conroy interjecting

Photo of Mrs Bronwyn BishopMrs Bronwyn Bishop (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Charlton has been warned. One more utterance and he will leave the chamber.

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I particularly want to thank the member for Deakin. I was, in fact, reading the Whitehorse News just this morning. The Whitehorse City Council, on page 4, makes a very interesting statement. Let me just read the headline. It says, 'Council passes on carbon tax savings.' It goes on to say:

Following the 17 July Carbon Tax Repeal Act taking effect from 1 July 2014, we expect landfill operators will reduce their gate price and as a result, Whitehorse Council has already taken steps to reduce its waste management fees.

It goes on:

Savings of approximately $360,000 will be passed back to the community as a result.

And it is not savings just on gate fees or landfill fees or waste fees for the residents of Whitehorse, it is, as the member for Deakin says, savings which they will receive on their electricity and gas bills. But there are two members in this House that represent the City of Whitehorse—one of whom, the member for Deakin, wants to see council rates go down and electricity prices go down. Another one is the member for Chisholm.

Just before question time, the member for Chisholm gave her views on what the residents of the City of Whitehorse deserve. She said:

I was outraged to receive a political campaign text on 1 September from my electricity provider, AGL, claiming customers just like me would receive an average of 8.9 per cent reduction in their bill with the abolition of the carbon price.

She was half right. Customers just like her would receive an 8.9 per cent reduction if they are with AGL. What do the latest figures show?—8.9 per cent for AGL residential customers in Victoria.

But there are two approaches. The member for Deakin says yes to the savings. The member for Chisholm says no. If you are a small business customer with AGL in Victoria you will get a 9.7 per cent reduction in your electricity bill. The member for Deakin says yes. The member for Chisholm says no.

If you happen to be a gas customer with AGL in Victoria you will receive a 7.2 per cent saving. The member for Deakin says yes to the savings; the member for Chisholm says no to her constituents. And if you are a small business customer with AGL in terms of gas savings you will get 10.3 per cent. The member for Deakin says yes; the member for Chisholm says no. There are two choices in this House. We say yes to savings; you say no.