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Regional Victoria to pay the cost of Andrews Government energy policies

Liberal Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, has blamed the energy policies of Premier Daniel Andrews for a looming surge in the cost of electricity and gas in Victoria.

“The policies of Mr Andrews, to stop burning coal and gas to generate electricity in Victoria while at the same time sending hundreds of millions of dollars to wind energy, is adding to already high energy costs faced by the state’s industries as well as households,” Mr Ramsay said today.

“While the Andrews Government has been buying up renewable energy certificates, food processing industries across Victoria are facing price increases of between 70 and 150 per cent ($1 million a year in one enterprise) for new electricity and gas supply contracts.”

The just-released ABS update of the Consumer Price Index shows household gas and electricity prices rose by eight per cent in the March quarter of this year.

“This represents a significant cost pressure on Victorian household budgets,” Mr Ramsay said.

“Dan Andrews promised Victorians that the loss of the Hazelwood Power Station would have a less than four per cent impact on electricity prices, but the official figures have defied his assurances.

“The Andrews Government’s moratorium on land-based gas extraction and its manic commitment to renewable energy will force up food prices throughout the state, which will in effect fuel inflation and cause rises in interest rates.

“Food processing firms all over Victoria have already indicated that they are expecting huge increases in electricity and gas prices, which they will have to pass on to both producers and consumers. Producers will be real losers as processors scramble to pay less for livestock.

“This is a dangerous situation for businesses and households.

“It should be a wake-up call to the Andrews Government to act quickly, to safeguard our energy sources and ditch the unsustainable folly that wind power can replace coal-fired and gas-fired power stations.”

“It beggars belief that the Andrews Government is using energy policy to force enterprises to shed jobs and exit Australia, while at the same time pretending to protect the jobs of working Victorians.

“Mr Andrews has betrayed his core constituency, voters who have supported his party for decades. I hope they remember what he has done to them when they consider their vote at the 2018 State Election.”