SA Parliament prevents Malinauskas from imposing new $10 million electricity tax

17 Nov 2021

State Parliament’s Upper House has thwarted an attempt by State Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas to force higher electricity bills on every South Australian household by blocking his amendments to the Emergency Management Act.

“Peter Malinauskas wanted to set up a compensation scheme for the remote possibility of the Government declaring an energy emergency, such as happened during Labor’s state-wide blackout, and some household solar systems output needing to be reduced to stop the grid falling over,” said Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The Marshall Government received advice from the independent Australian Energy Market Operator that the compensation tax would end up costing electricity consumers at least $10 million.

“Last night SA Best and John Darley joined with the Liberal Party to vote down Labor’s compensation tax on the basis it would cost all households significantly more than any compensation that might ever be paid.

“The most absurd aspect of this ridiculous policy is that the Labor’s electricity tax would have cost solar households more than they would have compensated.

“The fact is calling an emergency is unlikely to occur and hence compensation unlikely to be paid, but Labor still wanted to tax small electricity customers to set up their scheme.

“In the unlikely event that compensation occurs, the State Government is advised that the cost would be around $200,000; so customers would have been charged $50 by Labor to deliver $1 in compensation.

“South Australians were smashed with electricity increases of $477 by the former Labor government and now Mr Malinauskas wants to increase household electricity bills from Opposition.

“This crazy proposal proves Labor has learnt nothing from its past mistakes and cannot be trusted with South Australians’ electricity bills or power grid.

“South Australians would also face increased taxes or cuts to services to pay for Labor’s proposed $1.06 billion white elephant hydrogen power plant.

“Another Labor energy policy blunder has omitted ~$500 million from its cost estimates, so Labor continue to hide its modelling and costings for its white elephant power plant.”