Premier of Tasmania – Labor and leader-in-waiting Dean Winter keep rolling out the stunts

23 November 2022

Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy and Renewables,

Labor and leader-in-waiting Dean Winter continues to roll out the stunts in the final sitting week of the House of Assembly.

After failing with a flawed electricity price cap, Labor has nothing else to offer this week other than again re-prosecuting the same flawed legislation which only highlights their lack of understanding of the energy portfolio.

What Labor won’t tell Tasmania’s 94,000 concession card holders is that under their 2.5 per cent cap, most would be worse off than under our $180 Winter Bill Buster payment which has already been delivered.

Labor and Dean Winter repeatedly criticized our $50 million three-year Energy Saver Loan Scheme and yet Tasmanians households and businesses have enthusiastically embraced this opportunity to upgrade their energy efficiency and reduce their power bills.

Already there have been 330 applications (value $2.75 million) with 263 approved ($2.2 million), 29 settled and installed ($230,000) and 56 vendors have signed up.

To further help Tasmanian businesses we have today agreed to a new $50 million loan scheme for commercial and industrial customer with energy consumption of over 150 MWh per year so that they can invest in long-term energy efficiency solutions.

So while Dean Winter is all talk and stunts and trying to garner support to be the new Labor leader, the Government is taking targeted and effective action to help households and businesses with bill relief and long-term investments into innovation and energy efficiency to reduce future. costs.

As has been repeatedly pointed out to Mr Winter, his flawed cap is a blunt, costly, and untargeted plan that would send the six retailers currently operating in Tasmania to the wall, rather than encourage competition and choice for Tasmanians.

The Tasmanian Government has a proven track record of helping businesses and our strong economy allowed us to roll-out a COVID-19 business support package that was regarded as the most generous and effective in the nation.

What Labor and Dean Winter also conveniently overlook is that the Australian Government has indicated it will announce plans to curb the volatility in the national electricity market before Christmas.

So, the State energy policy needs to be informed by and co-ordinated with the actions of the Commonwealth so we achieve the best possible result for Tasmanian households and businesses and help secure the State’s future.

The independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator has already reported that Tasmania has the lowest, or amongst the lowest, regulated power prices in Australia and we will continue to use strategies to put further downward pressure on these prices; this is coupled with Tasmania having the most generous electricity concessions payments of the states.

If Mr Winter really wanted to do something useful he should be lobbying his federal colleagues, especially now that they are running state Labor, and ensure they deliver the promise of a $275 reduction in household electricity bills.

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