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Stirling Hinchliffe welcomes further steps on power bills

09 Dec 2016

Member for Sandgate, Stirling Hinchliffe says the Palaszczuk Government will extend electricity bill rebates to more than 150,000 more low-income Queenslanders as well as offer support to regional business operators to help better manage their power costs.

“The Palaszczuk Government is getting on with the job of helping to stabilise power price rises after bills increased by 43% under the Newman-Nicholls LNP Government,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Government’s formal response to a Queensland Productivity Commission inquiry into power pricing outlined a plan to extend electricity rebates to Commonwealth Health Care Card Holders.

“This will mean an additional 157,000 low-income Queensland individuals and families are better supported,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“They will be eligible for the rebate from 1 January 2017, or around $330 a year to help pay their energy bills.

“They can apply to their power retailer for the rebate from 1 April 2017, with payments back-dated to 1 January 2017.

“The Government will retain the existing electricity rebate for holders of a Pensioner Concession Card, Veteran Affairs Gold Card or a Queensland Seniors Card.

“The cost of extending the concession to Health Care Card Holders is about $48 million a year.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Solar Bonus Scheme would also be retained.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to retaining ownership of our power assets had enabled it to stabilise price rises.

“In late 2015 the government issued a directive to distributors Energex and Ergon Energy not to challenge an Australian Energy Regulator decision on network revenues.

“A challenge would have seen bills increase if it had been successful.

“That directive was possible only because the power bodies are government-owned.