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Labor trading insults, not answers, on rising energy costs

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

The Andrews Labor Government’s trivial response to questions in Parliament today on rising energy costs in regional Victoria is an utter insult to country business owners.

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio would rather blame others than make sure families and businesses can afford to pay their energy bills.

Agricultural businesses are the lifeblood of our country communities, but when extra money has to be spent keeping the lights on it means there’s less to spend on wages, in local small businesses and on supporting our country sporting clubs.

Closing Hazelwood with no plan to replace the loss of 22 per cent of our state’s baseload power supply and attempting to shift the blame to the Federal Government does nothing to support our rural and regional businesses.

The Premier for Melbourne must stop putting his own job and the jobs of his inner-city MPs who rely on Greens preferences before those in country Victoria.

Unlike Labor, a Liberal-Nationals government would prioritise energy security, affordability and reliability.

Background

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien took the story of the Peddles, a Gippsland dairy farming family, to State Parliament today.

The Peddles face a 400 per cent increase in energy costs, with a 150 per cent jump in the price of electricity. They already spend about $150,000 a year on energy.

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio could not answer Mr O’Brien’s question on how the Peddle family, who employ eleven people in their dairy operation, could afford to pay for this year’s electricity increase.