CORONAVIRUS — UTILITY CHARGES —
308. Hon ALISON XAMON to the minister representing the
I ask this question on behalf of Hon
Tim Clifford, who is out of the chamber on urgent parliamentary business.
I refer to the McGowan government's
$1 billion financial relief package announced yesterday.
(1) Will the
Treasurer please confirm that if a household is required to defer payments to
state-owned utilities such as Synergy, Horizon Power or Water Corporation, it
will still be required to pay the full amount owed after the deferral period?
(a) What support
will be given by the state government to support households that will be faced
with high unpaid water and electricity bills once the deferral period has
(b) Was any
consideration given to waiving payments for households to alleviate the
financial burden of additional debt when Western Australia enters the recovery
phase of this pandemic?
financial support will the state government give households that are not
eligible for the energy assistance payment but are still financially impacted
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank Hon Tim Clifford for some
notice of the question.
(1) (a) All
household customers will have their tariffs frozen at current rates for 2020–21.
Furthermore, no households experiencing financial hardship will have their
power or water disconnected, and no interest will be charged on deferred bill
payments. For any outstanding bills at the end of the deferred period,
customers will be considered under the utilities' existing arrangements
to ensure that they are supported through periods of hardship. For those most
at risk, refer to the answer to part (1)(b).
government has implemented a targeted assistance package worth $115.8 million
to those most in need through an increase in
the energy assistance payment. This will ensure that all eligible
customers receive a one-off additional payment of $305.25 on top of the
existing payment of $305.25 pro-rated across a customer's bills.
(2) Refer to (1)(a) and (b).
Hon ALISON XAMON: My
question without notice of which some notice has been given is asked on behalf
of Hon Robin Chapple, who is out of the chamber on urgent parliamentary
Several members interjected.
Hon ALISON XAMON: He lodged
this on Tuesday, Madam President.
The PRESIDENT: We might put
that question to one side for today, and we might have a think about that and
come back to you. We will let you know.