As winter tightens its icy grip on Western Victoria, my thoughts are with the increasing amount of families who are battling rising energy costs and struggling to keep their homes warm.
With temperatures hitting zero on a regular basis it’s hard enough to stay warm, however many families are being forced to huddle under blankets fighting to stave off the cold after their services were disconnected.
Daniel Andrews cold hearted closure of the Hazelwood power station shut off 22 per cent of Victoria’s energy supply leading to energy prices dramatically skyrocketing across the State.
The Andrews Government tripled the tax on coal and introduced a state-based Renewable Energy Target of 40 per cent by 2025, forcing this closure.
St Vincent De Paul Society estimates Victorians are facing $300 extra on the average annual household energy bill.
Many families are struggling to deal with this sudden surge, resulting in an increasing number of households being disconnected from essential services like gas and electricity.
Centacare chief executive Tony Fitzgerald recently told the media that local families were feeling the pain.
“They’ve got to keep the power on to keep themselves warm, or they don’t use heating at all which in the middle of a Victorian winter is unacceptable,” he said.
While we currently have many families struggling higher energy costs during winter, the situation could get worse over summer with the forecasts suggesting Victoria will not have enough energy supply to cover the peak summer.
The Leader of Opposition, Matthew Guy, has announced that a Liberal Government will scrap the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, so Victorians do not have repeated blackouts and higher electricity prices.
We cannot tolerate having families in Stawell and Ararat being cut off from essential services and having to endure freezing temperatures.
Energy costs need to drop. The Liberals under Matthew Guy are committed to making energy bills more affordable.
As always, if you would like to discuss any State Government issue with me, please contact my office at 177 High Street Maryborough or call 1300 Staley (1300 782 539).
Louise Staley is the Liberal state Member for Ripon
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