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Queensland Government media release

Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy Curtis Pitt is encouraging eligible Queenslanders to make full use of the many concessions and rebates on offer to help with cost-of-living pressures.

Mr Pitt said in response to cost of living pressures and the Queensland Productivity Commission’s (QPC) findings, an additional $170 million was allocated in April to make Health Care Card Holders and asylum seekers eligible for the current rebate.

"Of the estimated 157,000 people who are eligible, fewer than 10 per cent have so taken up the rebate,” Mr Pitt said.

"That means not enough Health Care Card holders know the rebate exists to help them, so we will be ramping up our push to ensure eligible Queenslanders know about the entitlement and encouraging them to apply.

“This is one of the few times as Treasurer that I want to see money getting out the door, so I encourage seniors, health care card holders and asylum seekers to contact their electricity retailers and apply for this concession.

“This much-needed reform to the Electricity Rebate provides $340.85 assistance in 2017-18 for low-income households and any Health Care Card holder or asylum seeker who applies before the 31 December 2017 will get this assistance back-dated to 1 January 2017.

“Also, Queensland Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and Department of Veterans Affairs (Gold Card) holders will continue to be eligible for the rebate.

“The Palaszczuk Government understands the pressure electricity prices has on Queenslanders and that is why we’ve invested $1.16 billion through our Powering Queensland Plan to put downward pressure on electricity costs for consumers.

“This includes $770 million to slash the expected price increase for Queenslanders by more than half.

“It means we have the lowest retail price increase of all mainland States, 3.3% compared to around 10-20 per cent in other states and also means over the term of our government average prices for households have increased an average of just 1.9% per year compared to 43% over the term of the LNP government.

“The Palaszczuk Government has also improved protections for vulnerable customers. 

“Early this year we streamlined the application process for the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme, allowing more customers experiencing financial hardship to access emergency assistance and avoid potential disconnection.

“This scheme provides low-income households experiencing an emergency or crisis up to $720 once every two years towards their energy debt.”

To apply for this assistance or to find out more, customers should talk to their energy retailer.

The Palaszczuk Government offers a range of assistance and rebates from property concessions to medical assistance and also help to cover education costs.

 

For details on electricity rebates and eligibility criteria visit:

https://www.qld.gov.au/community/cost-of-living-support/electricity-gas-rebates

 

For information on what the Queensland Government is doing to help with cost of living pressures visit:

https://www.qld.gov.au/community/cost-of-living-support/energy-concessions

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