Vulnerable Tasmanians are being put under increasing pressure by a government that appears to have turned its back on a commitment to put downward pressure on power prices.
Shadow Energy Minister David O’Byrne said it was revealed today that more than 106,000 customers are on payment plans.
“Will Hodgman and Guy Barnett made a promise to Tasmanians to deliver the lowest power prices in the country. That promise is cold comfort to the customers struggling to pay their power bills today.
“We now have Guy Barnett abandoning this commitment, saying instead Tasmanians will have ‘among the lowest power prices in the country’ – make of that what you will.
“It’s a reminder that under a Liberal government, wages are not keeping up with the cost of living.”
Mr O’Byrne said some customers were under additional stress because of cost shifting by Aurora.
“We are hearing cases of Aurora is telling customers they will need to foot the bill for maintenance or replacement of energy infrastructure connecting their home to the grid.
“In older homes, Aurora used to cover the removal of asbestos when it was discovered. Now home owners are being told they’ll have to pay.
“And in other cases, home owners are facing thousands of dollars in costs to update connections. These assets belong to Aurora, and should rightly be maintained by Aurora in a manner that keeps pace with regulatory change and their own business decisions.
“Guy Barnett must make good on his promise to follow up with Aurora, and ensure customers are not forced to pay Aurora’s way.”
Shadow Minister for Energy