In some parts of Newcastle, as many as six per cent of households have their electricity disconnected in recent times, according to an updated report from St Vincent de Paul.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon discussed the “Households in the Dark” report during a speech on the so-called ‘big stick’ legislation, which would give Government powers to break up energy companies.
“Tragically, millions of Australians are struggling to keep the lights on. And of course, it’s the most vulnerable people – the very people already under siege from this Government’s savage agenda – that are getting hit the hardest,” Ms Claydon told the Parliament.
“[The report] showed that far from being an anomaly, disconnections are becoming commonplace.”
Ms Claydon said the number of disconnections in Newcastle were “shocking”.
“In postcode 2300, which takes in the inner city suburbs of Newcastle, Cooks Hill, Bar Beach, Newcastle East and The Hill, a staggering 6.4% of households had electricity disconnections raised between July 2015 and June 2018.
“Indeed, out of every single populated postcode in my electorate, the very lowest disconnection rate was 2.4% of households.”
Ms Claydon blamed the terrible figures on the Morrison Government’s failure to deliver a national energy policy.
“When it comes to energy policy, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has demonstrated time and again that it is pathologically incapable of delivering the leadership that the country so desperately needs.
“Wholesale power prices have climbed 158 per cent since 2015. Business is hurting and household budgets are getting smashed.
“This Government needs to stop its childish factional bickering, get over its aversion to science and deliver an energy policy that will drive investment, create jobs, bring down carbon emissions and cut electricity prices.”