7 August 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s hypocritical attempt to shift the blame for increases in household and business electricity bills is a cynical ploy to distract from the truth about the impact of her Government’s carbon tax, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said.
“Julia Gillard will attempt to argue today that the pain that energy users are feeling because of rising bills is due to State Government failures and the level of investment in infrastructure networks,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“It’s almost incomprehensible that now, as the first round of electricity bills under the carbon tax filter in, the Prime Minister is pointing the finger for price rises in any direction other than her own carbon tax.
“On the Government’s own figures the carbon tax will increase electricity prices by 10 per cent and only go up and up as the carbon tax rises.
“Julia Gillard’s newfound interest in national energy market reform is a cynical attempt to further justify the carbon tax, introduced despite an iron-clad guarantee prior to the last election that there would be no carbon tax under her Government.
“The Prime Minister is a latecomer to the issue of energy market reform, after failing to show any interest in the issue during the time in which her Labor colleagues were running state budgets into the ground and introducing ill-advised and ad-hoc green energy schemes with their eyes fixed firmly on opinion polls.
“Any time during the past five years Julia Gillard could have shown an interest in the important issues of energy security and planning to ensure a reliable and affordable energy supply for Australia’s future.
“She has been a key player in a Government that has repeatedly delayed its Energy White Paper and has repeatedly failed to provide a long-term vision for energy investment.
“It’s only now, as her carbon tax is hitting households and businesses, that the Prime Minister is claiming an active interest in electricity network investment.
“The Prime Minister’s cynical approach to electricity prices and energy networks is evidence of the complete failure of the Labor Government to focus its attention on policies and planning for Australia’s future.
“It is a divided and dysfunctional Government that prefers to focus on itself, and only turns to policy debate when it’s in desperate need of a distraction.”