This week, April Fool’s Day will coincide with the Hazelwood Power Station shutting down in the Latrobe Valley due to policy decisions by the Andrews Labor Government and as a result, seats like Forest Hill will be facing an energy crisis – no joke!
Hazelwood represents 22 per cent of Victoria’s power generation and 1000 jobs, providing affordable and reliable power to homes and businesses.
The Andrews Government has tripled the tax on coal and introduced a state-based Renewable Energy Target of 40% by 2025, forcing the closure of Hazelwood. As a result of this decision, St Vincent De Paul Society estimates Victorians are facing $300 extra on the average annual household energy bill.
Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria is copying South Australia’s energy policies which have resulted in blackouts and the highest power prices in the country. Victorians now face 72 days of power shortfall in the next two years according to the Australian Energy Market Operator, putting the State’s power security in jeopardy and more pressure on prices.
The Victorian Coalition has called for the Andrews Government to intervene and fight for a staged closure over years as it is the most responsible outcome for the Latrobe Valley and Victoria. This would allow time for the Latrobe Valley workforce to transition and Victoria’s energy network to adjust while maintaining reliability, security and affordability. However, Daniel Andrews seems more concerned about meeting costly green targets than he is with people’s livelihoods.
The Leader of the State Opposition, Matthew Guy has announced that a Liberal Nationals Government will scrap the Victorian Renewable Energy Target so Victorians don't have repeated blackouts and higher electricity prices.
Comments attributable to Neil Angus MP, Member for Forest Hill:
“Daniel Andrews’ closure of Hazelwood means that local residents and businesses will be faced with massive price hikes in their basic power bills.”
“The Andrews Government’s reckless energy policies are moving Victoria towards South-Australian style blackouts and it is simply not justifiable to expect Victorians to foot the bill.”
“The residents of Forest Hill need a Premier to fight for their best interests, not allow crime to soar, youth justice centres to be overrun, CFA volunteers to be shafted and power prices to surge because of financially irresponsible ideology.”
“Under Daniel Andrews, Hazelwood is powering down and electricity bills are powering up,” said Mr Angus.
Comments attributable to Terry Kourtis, Mezze Fine Food Catering, Blackburn South:
“My café is 100 per cent reliant on electricity to run our fryers, grills, fridges, freezers, air-conditioner, toasters and our coffee machine, so any rise in power prices has a significant impact on my business bottom line.”
“As a small business owner, I can only bear any increase in my overheads for so long before I have to pass it on to my customers.”
“To be honest I need this like a need a hole in my head!” said Mr Kourtis.
Media contact: Neil Angus MP 03 9877 5628 or firstname.lastname@example.org