Lisa Chesters MP has condemned the Turnbull Liberal Government for their announcement that they will scrap Australia's Clean Energy Target.
"Increasing locally clean energy into the national grid just makes sense. More renewable energy will push down power prices and will bring billions of dollars of new investment, create jobs and reduce pollution.
“In contrast, today's announcement will cut energy sector investment and jobs. Hundreds of clean energy industry local small businesses and their workers across Central Victoria are now under threat,” said Ms Chesters.
Last month after meeting with local constituents concerned about sky-rocketing power bills, Ms Chesters called on the Government to urgently secure Australia’s energy future.
“Central Victorians want the energy price crisis fixed now. Today's announcement will not lower power bills. The new Government's energy guarantees high unaffordable energy prices for years to come.
“Before the 2013 election, the Liberals promised that power bills would go down by $550 a year. This year alone, the average Victorian household energy bill has gone up by $357.
"The Turnbull Government’s own models show that power bills may go down by only $1.90 per week by 2030. This is a fail and unacceptable.
“There are actions the Government can take today to immediately 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.
“Dumping the Clean Energy Target is a bad idea. This Government appears hell-bent on destroying renewable energy restricting growth in this sector over the next few decades.
“Labor accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity, since the industrial revolution, has increased average global temperatures, leading to climate change.
“That is why Labor has a clear plan to combat climate change by getting Australia’s pollution levels back under control and ensuring that Australian households, business and workers are in the best position possible to benefit from the huge investment and job opportunities that come from a renewable energy and clean technology future,” said Ms Chesters.
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.
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."