Res­i­dents have say on en­ergy costs

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Lo­cal res­i­dents have de­scribed how ris­ing en­ergy bills are im­pact­ing their daily lives at fo­rums held across the elec­torate, hosted by Na­tion­als Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy.

Mr McCurdy was joined by Shadow En­ergy and Re­sources, In­no­va­tion and Re­new­ables Min­is­ter David South­wick at meet­ings held in Co­bram, Yar­ra­wonga, Wan­garatta, Myrtle­ford and Bright last Tues­day.

‘‘We heard how the ris­ing cost of en­ergy is hav­ing a se­ri­ous im­pact on Ovens Val­ley res­i­dents,’’ Mr McCurdy said.

‘‘Those in at­ten­dance told me how they feel fright­ened to use elec­tric­ity be­cause of the cost — that they are go­ing to places like the town li­brary where it is warm dur­ing the day rather than putting the heater on at home.

‘‘There are lo­cal res­i­dents who are turn­ing off the heat­ing and lights at night and go­ing to bed early be­cause they sim­ply can’t af­ford the en­ergy costs.’’

Mr McCurdy said other is­sues raised at the fo­rums in­cluded the low feed-in tar­iff for so­lar, that renters and those most in need of as­sis­tance are be­ing ex­cluded from La­bor’s so­lar panel scheme, and that scams are al­ready emerg­ing as a re­sult of the pro­gram.

‘‘Most peo­ple in­di­cated that they have no­ticed a huge in­crease in their en­ergy bills in the past 18 months,’’ he said.

Mr South­wick said the high cost of en­ergy was hurt­ing all Vic­to­ri­ans.

‘‘From mums and dads to small busi­ness to big in­dus­try — they are all feel­ing the pinch and that has im­pacts across the state,’’ Mr South­wick said.

Talk­ing en­ergy: Na­tion­als Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy and Shadow En­ergy Min­is­ter David South­wick (cen­tre) spoke with res­i­dents across the elec­torate about soar­ing en­ergy costs.

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