Page 1855 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013
opposed this legislation—opposed legislation that reduces electricity bills for households, voting against legislation that eases cost-of-living pressures on Canberra households, voting against legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the most cost-effective manner. (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: The AEMC electricity trends report also says that from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015 electricity prices in the ACT will rise 19 per cent. Why has your government allowed electricity prices to rise by 19 per cent in three years?
MR CORBELL: Electricity prices remain the lowest in the country—the lowest of any state or territory. Yes, there have been price increases; I have never said that there have not been. But the price increases in the ACT have been lower than in any other state or territory and we continue to see the lowest average household electricity cost per annum of any state or territory in the country.
If those opposite are so concerned about price increases, why did they vote against a measure that would see savings in household electricity bills by over $300 a year? Why did they vote against it? Do they think that Canberrans should pay $300 more on their electricity bill or are they really seriously interested in helping Canberrans to save money on their electricity bill? The hypocrisy of the position adopted by the Liberal Party is there for all to see. They profess an interest in the cost of living, but when it comes to their vote they vote against measures that cut household electricity bills and save Canberrans money off their electricity bill.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, why did electricity go up 13 per cent in this financial year and is it the lowest increase in the country?
MR CORBELL: In this financial year there were a range of measures that had to take effect in relation to passed-through costs associated with the new carbon pricing arrangements. These were anticipated and recognised by regulators across the country. Nevertheless, what we know is that if you live in Queanbeyan or Jerrabomberra, you pay—
Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, on a point of order.
Mr Hanson: on relevance, the question very specifically was whether it went up by 13 per cent or not and whether that was the lowest in the nation. We do not need the excuses as to why; we just need confirmation of whether that was the case or not.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, the standing orders do require you to be concise and directly relevant, so could you address Mr Smyth’s question in relation to a 13 per cent increase?