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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

9 February 2005

Power charges to soar under Labor plan


The average household power bill would soar under a plan by state Labor premiers to introduce a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Families could pay as much as 27 per cent extra each year under one proposal - an increase of $239 on the average national household power bill.

Even on the lowest cost scenario, analysed in a report commissioned for Labor, the wholesale power cost increase would be between two and 6 per cent, translating into an increase of around $35 on the average household power bill.

Senator Campbell told the Senate during Question Time the massive increase was forecast in a report prepared last year by the Allen Consulting Group on the effects of a national emissions scheme. The draft report was not released.

"One of Labor's policies that was trumpeted during the last federal election and has been signed on to by all of the Labor states is a national emissions trading scheme," he said.

"But it's very hard to get information from the state governments. Dr Gallop must produce details of the scheme before the WA election so we in fact know what the taxpayers will be up for.

"A 27 per cent increase on a typical Western Australian power bill would burden families with another $265 a year. The lowest projected increase would be around $44.

"What is Dr Gallop going to do? Is he going to come clean and tell the people of WA what the increases to power charges will be under a national scheme?"

Senator Campbell said Labor premiers have made it clear they intend to introduce an emissions scheme, but they are sitting on the bad news - the huge costs to consumers and industry.

"Dr Gallop is fond of talking up the perceived benefits of such a scheme, but is afraid the consequences will become an issue in this election campaign.

"He wants to be seen as a savior of the environment, but won't come clean on the truth of the costs of this scheme to West Australians."

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia