Ripon MP Louise Staley has welcomed the announcement by Origin and Red Energy that they are considering entering the Wimmera Grampians gas market.
EnergyAustralia currently has a monopoly on the region, consumers have no option but to use EnergyAustralia for natural gas.
Ms Staley said EnergyAustralia’s monopoly on the region was an issue that was regularly raised by her constituents.
“This news will be very much welcomed by residents of Ararat and Stawell,”
“For too long EnergyAustralia has held the monopoly on this region, it is completely unfair, consumers have no ability to shop around suppliers and get a better price,”
“Competition is important and potentially adding Origin and Red Energy to the market supplying gas will provide a choice of retailer for gas customers.” Ms Staley said.
EnergyAustralia has been the only retailer in the region since the gas market was privatised in the 1990s.
Only one pipeline serves the area – the Carisbrook to Horsham pipeline. It is a 182 kilometre pipeline privately owned by Gas Pipelines Victoria, who has an agreement solely with Energy Australia.
“I am particularly pleased to hear that EnergyAustralia has been open to negotiations with the other gas retailers,”
“Residents of Ararat and Stawell shouldn’t be disadvantaged because it is a small market,”
“I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Labor Government’s Minister for Energy, her response “shop around”, it’s pretty hard to do that when there is no other option!”
“Labor has been in power for most of the past 20 years and have failed to do anything about this, residents of Ararat and Stawell should be able to access the same energy deals as those available in Melbourne.”