Electricity price rises: O'Farrell needs to stop opposing and start governing

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Labor's Shadow Energy Minister Luke Foley today called on the O'Farrell Government to tell the truth about the causes of electricity price rises, and to financially assist all NSW households given the State's contribution to rising prices.

"Mr O'Farrell is refusing to financially assist the vast majority of households with the electricity price hikes his Government is responsible for," Mr Foley said today.

"The draft pricing determination released by the IPART today makes it clear that the State Government is responsible for half of the electricity price increases that will take effect on 1 July.

"This comes on top of the 18 per cent increase in electricity prices in Mr O'Farrell's first year in office.

"Instead of assisting NSW families with the price increases he is responsible for, the Premier is waving his hands in the air, refusing to provide any assistance to the overwhelming majority of households.

"By comparison, the Commonwealth will fully compensate households for price increases associated with the carbon price.

"The Premier and his Energy Minister need to stop mindlessly opposing and start governing. Mr O'Farrell needs to take responsibility for the increases his government is responsible for.

"The NSW Labor Opposition proposes five ways in which the O'Farrell Government can act to help NSW families.

"First, instead of railing against the Commonwealth Government – which is compensating all families for the carbon price - the NSW Government should follow suit and provide financial assistance to all households, given the State's contribution to rising prices.

"Second, the Premier needs to drag the bosses of State owned energy distributors into his office and forensically audit their $14 billion capital expenditure to find out if gold plating is taking place, and if so, cut it back.

"Third, the O'Farrell Government should honour its election promise to freeze electricity dividends and abandon its plans to rip hundreds of millions of dollars extra in dividends from Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy.

"Fourth, the Premier should keep his election promise not to privatise electricity, which could send electricity prices skyrocketing by a further 30 per cent.

"Finally, the State Government needs to scrap its plan to merge the three electricity distributors into one – which Treasury advice says is more likely to increase, rather than reduce, costs."