Lisa Chesters MP has called on the Federal Government to urgently secure Australia’s energy future before Bendigo residents are forced into further bill stress.
“We are in the deep throes of an energy crisis. We’ve got power prices that have skyrocketed over the last four years under the coalition and we have serious concerns about blackouts going into summer.” said Ms Chesters
“As cost of living pressures show no sign of easing and basics such as rent, power, gas and water get more expensive, every dollar in the household budget is needed.”
“Central Victorians want the energy price crisis fixed now,” said Ms Chesters
“The Government is failing to sort out the policy uncertainty in this sector.
“Energy companies are reluctant to invest in new facilities because they don't know what the energy market rules are, or what they are going to be in the future. That's also the reason we are facing an energy crisis, demand is outstripping supply because consumption is growing but generation capacity is not growing fast enough.
“It's time to end the blame game – the Bendigo electorate expects me and Malcolm to work together on this.
There are four things the Government could do immediately to put downward pressure on prices:
1 – End the ideological war against renewables.
2 – Implement a Clean Energy Target, the solution recommended by the Government’s own energy review.
3 – Pull the trigger on gas export controls, because it’s ridiculous that Japanese companies pay less for our gas than Australians do.
4 – Develop a strategic energy reserve to protect against blackouts this summer.
“The Government’s own review was very clear: the main reason for energy prices going up is a lack of clear government policy. Bill Shorten and Labor are ready to fix it.
Quotes from local constituents:
Anne Caldwell - Strathdale self-funded retiree
“We close up the house and live in a smaller room, how else do you keep your bill down?
“We’ve had to go to bed earlier to conserve energy.
“We have had to be more careful, we have been a lot more conservative this winter but the bills are still going up.
“Everybody is noticing that bills are going up, everyone I know is struggling with their power bill.
“It’s become important to change your lifestyle to adapt to these rising bills.
Graeme Smith – Bendigo, Pensioner
“We have had to pay a lot more this winter than ever before.
“These constant increases in energy prices are particularly harsher on those on lower incomes like ourselves.
“If you change to another gas or electricity company the deals don’t change, the prices just keep increasing.
Ian Hardie – Golden Square, self-funded retiree, solar panels installed
“We have solar power panels installed and are putting energy back into the grid but we still end up paying more.
“Cost is mainly in gas, costs have tripled over the winter months.
“We have to be extremely careful on how we use our power, make sure we lock all doors, turn off lights and go to bed earlier to avoid running the gas any longer than we have to.
“We have to strip back on our living expenses, resources are finite and you have to think about very carefully about where your money is going.