New funding to help cut electricity bill costs
MORE than 4000 Bundaberg households are set to benefit from an additional $170 million over the next four years to help cover their electricity bills.
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson has welcomed the rebate announcement that will directly affect locals carrying Health Care Cards.
Ahead of Tuesday's Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review, Treasurer Curtis Pitt confirmed that the money needed to pay for this initiative would be covered.
"The extension of the rebate to include all vulnerable Queenslanders with a Health Care Card is about assisting those most in need," Ms Donaldson said.
"Locally that will directly benefit around 4,284 households.
"For the first time in Queensland's history, low-income customers will be able to get the rebate.
"I'm thrilled he has confirmed the additional $170 million to fund energy concessions and I'm optimistic that the Treasurer's Mid-Year review will reveal an improved Budget position."
Ms Donaldson said all up the generously expanded electricity concession program will provide $840 million to Queenslanders over the next four years.
"From 1 January 2017, 157,000 additional households can look forward to saving $330 a year on their power bills," Ms Donaldson said.
"All-up 688,000 households will now benefit from the Governments payment.
"I firmly back the post-Christmas extension of the rebate and I'm proud to be part of a Government that's committed to supporting those who need it the most."
Ms Donaldson said people could apply for the rebate from April 1, with payments backdated to January 1, 2017.
"This reform is about improving support to vulnerable customers," Ms Donaldson said.
"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to putting downward pressure on electricity prices.
"The Government has already taken action to stabilise prices, including directing the network businesses - Energex and Ergon Energy, not to challenge the decision by the Australian Energy Regulator to reduce network revenues.
"Queenslanders endured 43% electricity price increases under the Newman-Nicholls Government. Prices have stabilised under Palaszczuk Government."
Seniors and Pensioners will continue to receive the rebate, after the Government committed to funding the rebate for Queenslanders with a Seniors Card or Pensioner Concessions Card.