Electricity price spike will hurt Euroa electorate
09 November 2016
Wednesday 9 November 2016
The Euroa electorate will be hit by an increase in electricity prices in the wake of the closure of Hazelwood power station at Morwell, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has warned.
On Thursday it was announced that Hazelwood will close at the end of March.
Ms Ryan said while the decision created an economic emergency in the Latrobe Valley, the impacts would also be felt much further afield.
“More and more people across our region are embracing renewable energy sources such as solar power but there's no escaping the fact that Hazelwood supplies more than 20 per cent of Victoria’s energy requirements and about four per cent of Australia’s total energy demand," Ms Ryan said.
“Analysts agree that power prices are going to increase as a result of Hazelwood's closure, it's just by a question of how much. According to analysis by Frontier Economics, power bills could increase by up to 25 per cent.
“The price shock is going to hurt most for those who can least afford it.
"Many households are already struggling with the cost of living and any extra increase in electricity prices will have a significant impact for major local manufacturers and employers."
Ms Ryan said Premier Daniel Andrews contributed to the closure of Hazelwood by tripling brown coal taxes, taking an extra $252 million from the electricity generators, including $20 million from Hazelwood.
“Daniel Andrews’ plan to close Hazelwood can be traced as far back as May 2011 when he attacked then Premier Ted Baillieu for not closing the station,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said Labor had abandoned Hazelwood in a bid to stave off electoral defeat by the Greens Party in a number of inner city Melbourne seats.
"Just like the CFA is now paying for Daniel Andrews' deal with the United Firefighters Union to help him get elected, households and local businesses are going to pay for the Premier's efforts to hold onto power."