Joint Media Release with the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Ted O'Brien MP

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has confirmed Labor’s promise to reduce household electricity prices by $275 is officially broken with Australians paying among the most expensive power bills in the world.

In just two years, the Albanese Labor Government’s all-eggs-in-one-basket ‘renewables only’ approach has driven power prices up by $1,000 more than Labor promised for some Australian households.

The AER decision will set what’s known as the ‘reference price’ for electricity beginning on July 1 this year and has revealed increases of up to 38% over the past two years, sending bills soaring to just under $3,000 a year in some jurisdictions.

This is forcing many families to make tough decisions as energy bills take an increasing toll on household budgets.

Small businesses have also been hit hard by Labor’s spiralling energy crisis, with bills soaring by up to $2,000.

After just two years of ‘hard Labor’ there are now 43,210 new households on hardship payments with their energy provider, and nearly 24,000 households and business in energy debt.

It’s no wonder business energy bills are continually cited as the cost item that is causing them the most problems.

Energy prices have contributed to 16,000 businesses around the country going insolvent since 1 July 2022.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Ted O’Brien MP, said the announcement signalled the death knell of Labor’s fatal energy price promise.

“Despite promising a $275 reduction in household electricity bills, Australians are paying some of the most expensive power bills in the world and there is no reprieve in sight.”

“Labor’s energy crisis has pushed many Australians to the brink with 550 households plunging into hardship arrangement due to their energy bills every single week under the Albanese Government.”

“This is a direct consequence of Labor’s ideological, all-eggs-in-one-basket ‘renewables only’ approach which is ripping out 90% of Australia’s reliable 24/7 baseload energy over the next decade without a replacement.”

The Shadow Minister for Energy Affordability, Melissa McIntosh MP, said the biggest pressures people are facing right now are cost of living, and they are suffering most because of high energy costs.

“It is an incredible disappointment that Labor takes everyday Australians for fools and expects them to be grateful for $300 off a household electricity bill leading up to the election, when they are paying up to $1,000 more than they were promised by the Prime Minister,” said Mrs McIntosh.

“Small businesses are also doing it tough. A Penrith gym’s energy bills have increased from $13,000 to $27,500. An Emu Plains steel manufacturer is now paying 30 to 40 per cent more for their energy. These increases are extraordinary and are impacting many small businesses and manufacturers who are just trying to get by.

“In Western Sydney, high energy bills remain the number one reason that Labor’s cost of living crisis is hitting them so hard. We are seeing double income families lining up at food charities for the first time.

“We used to be the lucky country. The Albanese Labor Government is putting this at risk.”

News of crippling energy prices follows a dire warning from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) earlier this week which warned of blackouts as soon as this Summer due to energy shortfalls.

The energy market operator revealed reliability gaps have deteriorated in New South Wales and Victoria and South Australia. This has resulted in AEMO seeking out businesses willing to power down over Summer to help the government stave off blackouts.

The faltering cracks of Labor’s energy transition are turning into a vast chasm of consequences for Australia’s energy security and affordability, with the Albanese Labor Government failing to get new gas approvals put in place all while they race to the exit for baseload power stations.

Left with nowhere to hide, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers used the 2024-25 Budget to entice voters, handing out a $300 energy bill rebate to households in a cash-splash leading up to an election.

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