Electricity bills set to increase
IPSWICH residents are bracing for an electricity price rise of almost six per cent.
The independent Queensland Competition Authority announced the 5.83 per cent rise would take effect from July 1 next year.
The rise adds about $26 to the average quarterly bill of $440, or about 28 cents a day.
Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the rise was impacted by the Federal Government's revised Renewable Energy Target.
“The Government understands that every dollar counts and the pressure these increases place on household budgets,” he said.
Mr Robertson said electricity concessions and rebates were available to help pensioners, low-income households and people with special medical needs.
He said the price rise was not as bad as other states such as South Australia, which announced a 12 per cent increase, and New South Wales where prices would rise between 20 per cent and 42 per cent over the next three years.
Opposition deputy leader Lawrence Springborg slammed the increase.
“Tens of thousands of Queenslanders are doing it tough, and all the Bligh Government can do is sit back and blame it all on Canberra and its renewable targets,” he said.
“Anna Bligh has washed her hands of cost-of-living increases that are causing real pain. If it's not rego, it's water, if it's not water, it's petrol, if it's not petrol it's electricity which just keeps going up and up.”
Queensland Council of Social Service spokeswoman Karyn Walsh said she was worried about the increasing numbers of people who were not able to cope with their bills.
“New data shows that Queensland has again become the state with the highest rate of electricity disconnections in Australia, evidence enough that disadvantaged people here are being forced into crisis by the rising cost of living,” she said.
“We know that the Queensland Government is looking at ways of addressing the impact of cost increases on low income consumers and they should be looking at the effectiveness of current concession framework.
“Victoria, where the disconnection rate is half that of Queensland, has a more equitable concession system in place and better consumer protections.”