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South Australians powerless in the face of price rises

Mar 21, 2017

 
Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP
Shadow Minister for Energy and Mining
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South Australians powerless in the face of price rises

The Weatherill Government’s disastrous electricity policies have delivered the highest rate of electricity disconnections, the most customers on hardship programs and the highest average electricity debt in the nation.

“This trifecta of power pain is the direct result of South Australia having the highest electricity bills and the highest unemployment in the country,” said Shadow Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“South Australians are almost twice as likely to have their electricity cut off and those unable to pay their electricity bills face an average debt of $813, more than $100 the national average.

“Nor is the situation any better for gas customers in South Australia who also have the highest rate of disconnections and the most customers on hardship programs.

“Tens of thousands of South Australians have been caught in a pincer movement of higher power prices and a lack of work to help pay those rising prices.

“Nor is there any relief in Jay Weatherill’s half a billion dollar patch-up job on South Australia’s fragile electricity system.

“Jay Weatherill’s $550 million plan will further drive up the price of electricity in South Australia.

“The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) needs to substantially increase the threshold amount a customer can owe an energy retailer before their gas or electricity can be disconnected.

“South Australian households are facing surging electricity prices that will result in ever greater numbers of households being disconnected.

“The current $300 threshold is already too low with South Australians suffering from the highest electricity prices in the nation and having the highest number of households disconnected for failing to pay their electricity bill.”

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