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Proposed removal of Tariff 41

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to ask the Honourable Leader of Government-

TasNetworks has confirmed it’s looking at scrapping Tariff 41 and moving to the main household energy tariff, Tariff 31.

(1) What will be the base figure for Tariff 31, if it is reduced to keep energy bills down as TasNetworks’ CEO Lance Balcombe has promised it will be?

(2) What will the formula be to ensure everyone pays the same rate and no one is disadvantaged financially by the change?

(3) Is there another fairer system, i.e. reflective pricing where consumers are charged according to whether they’re using the electricity at peak/off-peak times?

Answer from the leader of Government, Dr Vanessa Goodwin:

The Tasmanian Government has made it very clear that it does not support the removal of Tariff 41.

While there is a national push towards a greater use of cost-reflective tariffs, the Government has made clear to our energy businesses that we will not support any changes to tariff structures which will see Tasmanians worse off.

This Liberal Government has ended the spiralling electricity price rises which were a hallmark of the former Labor-Greens Government, where prices increased by 65 per cent in seven years. Under this Government, electricity prices are more than 5 per cent lower today than when we came into Government 18 months ago.

A key strategic action under the Government’s Tasmanian Energy Strategy is ensuring vulnerable Tasmanians continue to be properly supported.

This year alone, the Government has provided $37.2 million for electricity concessions, which is helping around 80 000 Tasmanians. These are amongst the most generous concession arrangements in the country.

In partnership with Aurora Energy, a further $2 million has been made available in the Budget over the next two years to implement energy affordability programs targeting vulnerable households in particular.

It is expected that through this program Aurora will be able to considerably expand the scope and reach of its YES program from around 1500 customers to 2 500.

This Government also contributes to the Electricity Hardship Fund administered by the Salvation Army. This fund provides targeted support on a case by case basis to the most vulnerable electricity customers. Already 3000 customers have been assisted since it commenced.

The Government remains committed to supporting vulnerable Tasmanians and delivering power prices which are predictable, sustainable and as low as possible over the longer term.

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