Posted on 26. Sep, 2013 in News

The Napthine Government continues to shun Victorian consumers over energy pricing, failing to consult with a single consumer group as part of its Gas Task Force investigation, Shadow Minister for Energy and the Cost of Living, Lily D’Ambrosio said today.

Ms D’Ambrosio said that despite Freedom of Information (FOI) documents obtained by the Opposition revealing the need for the taskforce to provide policy advice on market transparency and pricing, not a single consumer group was represented on the government’s taskforce.

“The Napthine Government’s key election issue was to reduce cost of living and financial burden on families and the decision by the government to leave consumer groups out of the task forces investigations is a slap in the face to Victorians,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“No meetings were held with consumer or welfare groups which is disappointing considering these documents reveal that wholesale gas prices are expected to more than double, and retail prices are set to soar by 40 per cent.

“Sections relating to nature and extent of gas supply and pricing problems were heavily redacted by the Office Premier.

“Key issue papers on the areas of Domestic Demand, Supply Demand in the Eastern Gas Market, Wholesale Markets and Transmissions and Retail Markets and Distribution were also blocked from FOI release.

“It is clear that the Napthine Government is attempting to cover up its lack of initiative in driving the costs of gas and electricity down,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Victorians are facing higher cost of living pressures than ever with the Napthine Government increasing the price to the following in this year’s state budget:

• Drivers licence renewals and Vehicle registration;
• Public transport fares;
• Police checks;
• Working with children applications;
• Fire Services Property Levy;
• Extended congestion levy;
• Increased childcare costs.

Ms D’Ambrosio said that since gaining the portfolio of Energy and Resources, Minister Nick Kotsiras had been ‘slow out of the blocks’ in delivering initiatives to drive down cost pressures for Victorian households.

“The Napthine Government continues to ignore its key promise to Victorians at the last election to reduce the cost of living on households across the state.”

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