Victoria Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien
Perth Residents Get Smart Meters For Free While VIC Families Pay Billions
Victor P Taffa
Nearly 9,000 Perth Residents will receive free smart meters while Victorian families are forced to pay billions of dollars for Premier John Brumby’s smart meter stuff-up.
Western Australian Energy Minister Peter Collier has announced that more than 8900 homes in Perth’s eastern suburbs will have smart meters installed at no cost to households.
The $15 Million cost of the trial will be covered by local electricity distribution company Western Power and the Federal Government’s Solar Cities program.
“While John Brumby’s smart meter stuff-up is costing Victorian families hundreds of dollars in higher electricity prices, Perth families get their smart meters for free.” Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien said today.
“Struggling Victorian families will be forced to pay higher electricity bills this year whether or not they have a smart meter installed.”
Western Power Managing Director Doug Aberle has confirmed ‘customers taking part in the trial will not be charged for the meter and the device itself will not alter the cost of electricity for the customer’ (Source: ‘WA trials first smart meters in Perth’s eastern region’, Peter Collier media release 6 July 2010).
The Auditor-General found in November last year that the original $800 Million cost of the smart meter rollout has blown out to as much as $2.25 Billion and criticised the Brumby Government for failing to protect the interests of consumers.
“John Brumby needs to explain why Victorian families have to pay hundreds of dollars for his smart meter budget blow out while Perth families pay nothing for their smart meters.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“While WA’s Coalition Government under Premier Colin Barnett protects the interests of WA families, struggling Victorian families are paying dearly for John Brumby’s incompetence and financial mismanagement.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Recent opinion poll ratings published in The Australian Newspaper gave Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett an approval rating of 60%.