More supportive concessions under electricity reforms

18/06/2013

Helping Queenslanders meet their electricity bills and develop more effective concessions arrangements are key report recommendations released by the Newman Government.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the recommendations outlined in the Inter-departmental Committee (IDC) report on Electricity Sector Reform would drive a more competitive market for electricity in Queensland.

"The Newman Government is working to improve Queenslanders' understanding of the electricity sector and outline how they could benefit from discounts and improved products in a more competitive energy market," Mr McArdle said.

"The Government has also conditionally accepted the IDC's recommendation to sign up to the National Energy Customer Framework next year on the provision that customers outside of south-east Queensland will be strongly supported.

Seath Holswich MP, Member for Pine Rivers and Trevor Ruthenberg MP, State Member for Kallangur both said They strongly support the initiative to improve protections for customers experiencing financial hardship.

"I am pleased to see attention will be given to Queenslanders living in retirement villages and caravan parks," Mr Holswich said.

"The Newman Government has already announced more than $138 million in the coming year to help pensioners, seniors and eligible concession card holders with their energy bills."

"There is also a $35.9 million increase to $153 million in 2013-14 to support Queensland pensioners, families who suffer significant financial hardship and people with a disability or illness.

Mr Ruthenberg said "The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme budget is being doubled to $10 million to ensure low income households can get an emergency payment of up to $720 if needed.

"Additional funding has been allocated to assistance schemes that support pensioners and seniors with reticulated natural gas, Queenslanders who use an oxygen concentrator or kidney dialysis machine, and people with a medical condition who rely on air-conditioning to regulate their body temperature."

Further information about the electricity rebates and concessions available can be found at www.communities.qld.gov.au or by phoning 13 74 68.