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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10034

Ms CATHERINE KING (Ballarat) (13:48): We have had five years with the Liberals in office and five years of soaring power prices. We have had five years with this government in office and five years of Australians footing higher bills for their failures. This government's energy crisis isn't just costing all of our households; it is costing our public hospitals. Hospitals are one of the most significant consumers of energy in Australia. It is estimated that public hospitals consume 60 per cent of public sector energy in Victoria. In Western Australia, they consume around 45 per cent—and they're being pushed to the brink because of this government's inaction.

Victorian hospitals will have to find an extra $44 million a year for energy costs because of this government's negligence and complete lack of action. This is an additional pressure on public hospitals when they are already struggling with their budgets from this government's failure to properly fund them. As an example, Mildura Base Hospital say they are expecting their annual electricity bill to rise by $200,000. That is an extra $16,000 a month that they will have to find, money that would be better put towards improving hospital services and looking after patients. They say that this extra money would be better directed to looking after patients. The buck stops in just one place, and it stops with this appalling, useless government.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): Order! Before I call the member for Barker, I will remind members that the 90-second statements are not a team sport. One at a time.