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Abbott's absurdities exposed: Bulletins no. 13

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation


GC 148/12 21 June 2012


The Opposition Leader’s obsession with saying one thing to one audience, and something else to another audience, has been revealed again today.

For the past 16 months, Tony Abbott has been claiming that electricity price rises across the country have been entirely related to the introduction of the carbon price.

In Question Time yesterday, I pointed out that the main driver of electricity price rises in recent years has been the investments in poles and wires - and these price increases helping state governments to reap dividends.

In fact over the last three years, electricity prices have risen by an average of 40 per cent in the eastern states and 57 per cent in Western Australia. Yet Mr Abbott has ignored these price rises and continued to falsely blame carbon pricing.

On breakfast radio today however, Mr Abbott finally admitted that his State Liberal colleagues have, in fact, been contributing towards recent electricity price rises:

“Now it’s certainly not the only impact on electricity prices. Yes, some of these renewable schemes do have an impact, yes some of the electricity authorities haven’t been as assiduous as they might have been at investing in infrastructure...” (2SM Radio, 21 June 2012)

If Mr Abbott was serious about taking pressure off electricity price rises, he would condemn the O’Farrell Government for taking $640 million in dividends from NSW consumers last year, as well as their forecast to reap over a billion dollars in dividends from electricity bills next year.

The Gillard Government has been upfront about the modest impact of the carbon price on electricity prices - an average of $3.30 a week for the average household and the Government is helping households with an average of $10.10 a week in assistance.

I will continue issuing these Bulletins, as the start of the carbon price approaches, to hold Mr Abbott to account for his misleading and deceitful conduct.

Media Contact: Mark Davis, Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920