Victorians pay even more for electricity but services continue to fail

Families in some Melbourne suburbs are being hit with big electricity price hikes – the same families that suffered most from last month’s substation malfunction which brought Melbourne to a standstill.

Half a million homes and businesses in places including St Albans, Essendon, Pascoe Vale, Werribee, Niddrie and Point Cook were without power, and all Melbourne’s trains were cancelled leaving commuters stranded in searing heat during a Friday night peak-hour.

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Robert Clark said the price hike would be a rude shock for families still counting the cost after throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of groceries lost during last month’s blackout.

“Honestly, many of these families would be wondering why their power bills are going up when their electricity is so often going down, and when John Brumby says he will not guarantee there won’t be a repeat of last month’s meltdown,” Mr Clark said.

“This is the fifth year in a row in which hundreds of thousands of Victorians have suffered major power blackouts. Since 2004, power reliability in Victoria has been going backwards.”

“Every time the Brumby Government fails Victorians on basic services, and every time John Brumby says he won’t guarantee basic services, life gets harder for families.

“With bills going up yet again, the least families can expect is for the government to fix the fundamentals and give them a power supply that doesn’t leave them in darkness every summer.”

Mr Clark urged households struggling to meet the cost demands to contact the Essential Services Commission for advice on how to shop around for competitive electricity suppliers.