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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hodgman No Bright Spark on Electricity Costs - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Hodgman No Bright Spark on Electricity Costs - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Shadow Minister for Energy Will Hodgman has again shown that he is in the dark when it comes to electricity pricing in Tasmania.

Mr Hodgman today claimed that ‘Tasmanians… pay some of the highest electricity prices in the nation’ Minister for Energy Bryan Green said.

“Mr Hodgman clearly has not read the independent Tasmanian Energy Regulator’s most recent report on the State’s energy industry.

“According to the Regulator’s 5th annual review of the State’s energy industry, average Tasmanian residential electricity prices fell in real terms compared to 2003-04.

“The regulator goes on to make the point that consumers in most other States and Territories paid the same or higher costs for their domestic electricity.

Mr Green said Mr Hodgman also does not seem to understand the role of Tasmania’s independent Energy Regulator.

“The establishment of the regulator is consistent with National Competition Policy, which is run by the Howard Government, and requires that regulatory functions be removed from government business enterprises,” Mr Green said.

“For Mr Hodgman to be unaware of the true state of electricity pricing in this state calls into question his capacity to be the Shadow Minister for Energy, let alone his capacity to be the Minister for Energy.

Mr Green said that calls from the State Liberals to bring forward consideration of the extension of electricity concessions to Health Care Card holders is simply hypocrisy.

“The concession system was introduced by Labor, which of course is the only party with a tradition of looking after those less well off in the community.

“And we are considering seriously the TAScoss submission for extended concessions on power bills and are doing so in a financially responsible manner as part of the budget process.

“The Liberals have never had a policy of providing this type of subsidy and to my understanding still don’t despite the largesse involved in their $800 million promised spending.

“The State Government already provides more than $228 million in concessions to the most needy in the community announced as part of the social justice policy in the 2005-06 Budget.

Mr Hodgman’s lack of knowledge of the Tasmanian energy market and his calls to bypass the proper budget process in relation to extended concessions are further proof that if elected, the Tasmanian Liberals will bankrupt Tasmania again.


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