South Australia Shadow Minister for Energy Martin Hamilton-Smith
Has Koutsantonis Read His Own Report?
Victor P Taffa
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis publicly embarrassed himself on radio yesterday morning, misrepresenting his own ministerial report into energy costs released last week.
On ABC 891 radio yesterday, Minister Koutsantonis falsely claimed that power bills had declined over the past twelve months:
Matt Abraham: Oh, so our power price has gone down?
Koutsantonis: They have, yes.
Matt Abraham: In South Australia?
Matt Abraham: In the last 10 years?
Koutsantonis: In the last 12 months
This is despite receiving an independent Ministerial Pricing Report from the Essential Services Commission last Friday that indicated average household bills have increased substantially in the past 12 months.
“The ministerial report indicates that market offer prices have gone up 18.7 % and standing contract prices have increased 2.2 % in the last 12 months.” Shadow Minister for Energy Martin Hamilton-Smith said.
“Minister Koutsantonis also claimed, “On average since deregulation power prices have dropped for the standard customer of about 5,000 kilowatt hours from about $1,985 down to about $1,500”.
“This is despite his Ministerial Pricing Report indicating that the average standing offer price as of 16 August was $2,029 a $529 discrepancy!”
“Where is the Minister finding these prices? Certainly not in his own report!”
“It is obvious that the Minister has either failed to read his own report or is wilfully misleading the public on the true cost of power bills in South Australia.”
“Minister Koutsantonis must either apologise for making such grievous errors or Premier Weatherill must censure his minister for plainly misleading the public.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.