Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly has weighed into the energy debate calling for the energy supplement to be reinstated to protect the vulnerable and for the key recommendations of the Finkel Report into the national electricity market to be adopted quickly.
The report recommends a clean energy target as the mechanism for the electricity sector and an orderly transition from older technologies along with better governance.
“The report highlighted urgent measures that need to take place and the need for a clean energy policy as soon as possible but while we’re waiting there is still a need for the energy supplement,” Dr Kelly said.
“We (the Labor Party) introduced the energy supplement to ensure no one in a vulnerable situation would be affected by the clean energy package. The Coalition claimed by dismantling the clean energy package annual electricity bills would fall by $500 and continue to fall but what we’ve seen is a doubling of energy costs and now the most recent price rises have added another 20 per cent,” he said.
“There should have been investment in distribution networks, not the transmission lines which were gold plated and there has been mismanagement of the gas market. Now we have a national problem.”
Dr Kelly is disappointed at the effect in Eden-Monaro where renewable energy projects were creating jobs.
“In our own region there was over $1bn of investment into Eden-Monaro in renewable projects from 2007-2013. The second phase of Bocco Rocks (wind farm) would have had added extra capacity,” Dr Kelly said.
He said it would have opened up options for distribution adding that smaller distribution networks were the way of the future with community networks adding another level of resilience in the overall national market.
“It is critical that we embrace the Finkel Report. We need to highlight a timeline for the recommendations to be adopted. A decision about a clean energy target across the political divide is critical for investor confidence.”