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Power outages predictable, pricey and preventable

Tens of thousands of Victorians have gone without power in the last 24 hours.

Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, said the power outages were predictable, pricey and preventable.

“That Victorians have experienced power outages is not surprising given stresses put on the energy market by the Andrews Government,” Mr Ramsay said.

“Having enough energy is one thing, getting it to you is another.  And for the privilege of having this random, unreliable service you pay a very lofty price.”

The Victorian Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, this morning acknowledged on 3AW radio that it is “…very serious and people deserve better”.  She blamed the problem on the transmission network.

Mr Ramsay said this is hard to understand when network costs have become a major component of rising power bills.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the ACCC, released an interim report in October that showed residential prices had increased by 63 per cent, on top of inflation, since 2007-08.

The ACCC found the cost blowouts were largely driven by higher network costs, up 48 per cent.

“This begs the question, what is this money being spent on?  Households are paying bigger bills, but not getting the benefits.  Where is the network money going?”

Mr Ramsay said Victorians are sick of being pawns to the Greens and Labor’s expensive ideologies.

“The forced closure of the Hazelwood Power station cost the state 22 per cent of it’s reliable energy supply.  The VRET target of 40 per cent by 2025 is forcing prices up and moving the market towards an increased use in gas-powered energy.

“But under the Andrews Government the wholesale price of gas doubled in 2015. Given Dan doesn’t want to lift his ban on conventional gas exploration, the problem will only get worse”.

He said the fickle network, unreliable energy sources and price hikes are hurting homes, health and business.

“The costs and the losses are adding up all too quickly.

“While Daniel Andrews uses his power to sit front row at the tennis, Victorians are left without any.

“Daniel Andrews needs to get serious about providing essential services.  At the very least, that’s what Governments are supposed to do.”