The government’s ongoing refusal to provide relief to Tasmanians struggling with winter energy bills is causing avoidable distress in the community and must be reversed.
Shadow Minister for Energy David O’Byrne said a winter energy supplement is urgently needed to help Tasmanians in genuine need of support.
“Labor has been warning for months of the looming impact of winter energy bills on already-stretched household budgets,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“Many bills issued in the last quarter were estimated as a result of energy companies deciding it was a health and safety risk for meter readers to attend properties during the early days of COVID-19.
“That means the bills that are arriving in people’s letterboxes right now include catch-up charges, which are causing severe bill shock.
“Sarah is a single mother of a child with disabilities, living in Hobart’s Northern suburbs, who recently received a power bill totalling $1877 after Aurora underestimated her previous bill. Sarah is at a loss as to how the bill could be so high or how she will be able to pay it.
“While I appreciate the Premier’s commitment to look into Sarah’s situation, it is far from an isolated case, with numerous people contacting us with the same experience.
“The government will have an opportunity today to reverse its opposition to winter energy bill relief, by voting in favour of Labor’s motion in Parliament, calling for power bill relief at this time of immense financial pressure.”
“I urge them to do the right thing by struggling families who did the right thing by Tasmania and stayed home during the worst of the pandemic – many dealing with job losses and reduced hours, as well as supervising their children’s home learning.
“This Government issued an energy supplement in the middle of summer leading up to the 2018 election. It cannot continue to ignore the plight of people like Sarah now by refusing to issue a winter energy supplement.”
Shadow Minister for Energy