Federal Nationals’ leader David Littleproud says today’s decision by the Australian Energy Regulator to lift the final default market offer by close to 25 per cent is the result of failed Labor policy.
Households in NSW will face electricity price rises of between 19.6 and 24.9 per cent from July 1, while small business customers will face increases of between 14.7 and 28.9 per cent.
The power hikes come on the back of 11 increases in official interest rates since April last year.
Mr Littleproud said this is another kick to regional Australia, where the cost-of-living crisis is being felt just as much as it is in capital cities.
“In regional and rural Australia, this is effectively the price that we will get because we don’t have competition,” Mr Littleproud said.
“But also appreciate that this still provides energy providers with the opportunity to lift and increase the fees and service charges on your energy bills, which are already around 50 per cent of the energy bill itself.
“This is all about a failed policy of a government that in 12 months has destroyed the supply of reliable energy across this country.”
Mr Littleproud said this is where ideology isn’t meeting the practical reality of what’s been bled out of Australians’ wallets every month.
He said the A.L.P, having refused his offer to hold a National Energy Summit when he first became leader, has also refused to look at all the opportunities to have affordable, reliable energy that can also reduce emissions.
As a result, he said the Labor government has taken us on a reckless pathway that aims to have 82 per cent of Australia’s power generated by renewables by 2030.
“We’re not against renewables, but there are places for renewables. They should be on rooftops, not on productive agricultural land or knocking down remnant vegetation to achieve it,” Mr Littleproud said. “What we’re saying to this government is there is a pathway through this. There is a sensible pathway.”
Mr Littleproud said while people living in the regions comprise 30 per cent of the population, they’ve become the forgotten Australians under Labor.
“This is a government that hasn’t thought through their plan. They have no plan and it’s all already made on the run,” Mr Littleproud said.