The State Government has confirmed it will mount a legal appeal to the determination of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to lower electricity prices across NSW, including in the Illawarra, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.

“The State Government’s decision to appeal the AER decision only means that the NSW Liberals will support higher electricity prices for households and businesses.

“This is in contrast the public statements from Liberal State MPs, including the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP on ABC Illawarra a fortnight ago, that he supported the AER determination to lower electricity prices.

“Mr Ward also issued a press release on 26 February 2015 stating:

Power networks in the National Electricity Market, whether public or private, are regulated by the AER – an independent national body.

And guess what? The AER in their draft determination have said prices will come down.

“Mr Ward can’t now have it both ways.

“He can’t say he supports lower electricity prices one minute and then support an appeal to the AER determination, which will lower prices, the next.

“It is now obvious the State Government is panic stricken that the AER determination ensures it will not yield the returns it anticipated from the sell-off of the electricity network.

“Lower electricity prices means that the State Government will be unable to raise the $20 billion it anticipated from the sell-off of the electricity network.

“The State Government’s inability to raise the $20 billion it anticipated from the electricity network sell-off places at risk infrastructure projects like the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

“Mr Ward needs to explain to the Illawarra community why his Government is appealing the AER determination to lower electricity prices for families and businesses”, she said.

Ms Watson said that electricity prices in the Illawarra had increased by 35 per cent since the Liberals were elected in 2011.


22 May 2015