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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1066 ..


Ministerial arrangements

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (2.00): As members will know, the Chief Minister, Minister Rattenbury and Minister Steel will not be in question time today. I will be taking all the questions for the Chief Minister. I will also be taking questions in the skills and Special Minister of State areas of Minister Steel’s portfolios. Minister Gentleman will cover Transport Canberra and City Services. Minister Gentleman will also take questions in the water, energy and emissions reduction area of Minister Rattenbury’s portfolios; Minister Cheyne will cover Attorney-General, consumer affairs and gaming matters.

Questions without notice

Energy—cost

MS LEE: My question is to the Chief Minister, to be taken by the Deputy Chief Minister. During the election, the Chief Minister and Minister Rattenbury promised Canberrans that under a newly elected Labor-Greens government the average annual electricity bill would fall by $43. We now learn that prices will rise on average by $5.50 a week, an increase of almost $300 a year. Minister, why is it that the party led by you said one thing before the election and is now breaking that promise?

MS BERRY: I have to suggest that the electricity increases are by electricity providers. Of course, it is a concern for the ACT community when electricity prices rise. The overall long-term plan and approach for the ACT government is to ensure more affordable electricity prices for everybody in our community by shifting away from fossil fuel generated electricity towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable electricity sources, which the ACT government is doing and will continue to do.

If there is more advice that I can provide to the Assembly following the question today, I will take some of that on notice and provide that if possible.

MS LEE: Minister, why have your government’s policies failed to provide cheaper electricity costs as you promised?

MS BERRY: More efficient electricity services across a number of places in the ACT—including our energy efficiency programs, particularly in public housing, to ensure that public housing tenants can have more affordable access to more sustainable and more affordable appliances within their homes, particularly around removing older unsustainable gas heating appliances and replacing them with electric heaters—show that the ACT government is committed to ensuring that electricity within our community is more affordable, particularly focusing on those people who need that support most.


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