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TEELS: An Interest Free Loan or a Westpac Credit Card Scheme?

2 May 2017

Energy Efficiency - Tasmanian Homes

 

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

 

[10.09 a.m.]

Yesterday the Minister for Energy revealed your Government's grand plan to make Tasmanian homes more energy efficient.  It is - wait for it - a Harvey Norman-style line of credit with a credit card scheme administered by Westpac that will potentially leave Tasmanians $10 000 in hock to a major bank and, at the end of three years, facing high interest rates and soaring credit card debt.

Why is the Tasmanian Government setting up a corporate credit scheme with a major bank that exposes Tasmanians to a high debt risk?  Is this your Government's quid pro quo for the $11 000 donation Westpac made to the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party -

Government members interjecting.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is it your Government's quid pro quo for the $11 000 -

Government members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, the House will come to order.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is it your Government's quid pro quo for the $11 000 donation Westpac made to the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party in October 2015 in the lead-up to the state election?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Denison for her question.  I thought for a fair part of her question that it was going to be a sensible and serious question about how we could better assist Tasmanians not only to be more energy efficient but also to reduce power prices for Tasmania.  We are moving to ensure Tasmanians pay the lowest possible prices for their power bills, given they are lower under this Government than they were under the Labor-Greens government some years ago. 

What we have announced is all about providing support and assistance to Tasmanians, Tasmanian households -

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order!  I do not want to have to keep standing and interrupting the flow of question time.  Members know questions need to be asked and in line with that members need to give ministers - in this case the Premier - an opportunity to answer those questions otherwise there is no point in question time.  I am finding it difficult to hear what is being said because of all the shouting going on.  I am sure it was a serious question that deserves an answer.

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, it was to a point because it is an attack on a corporate citizen in this state.  I reject the assertions and implications made by the member for Denison.  I point to the very real and important motivation for what we are doing, which is to support Tasmanians.  We will do that in partnership with the non-government sector to ensure programs such as this can be administered appropriately. 

If the member for Denison wants more specific details on how the program was designed and how it will be implemented, she should ask the Minister for Energy.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  If I have not called a member to speak, I am the only person in the Chamber who has the call.

When the House behaves like this, it will be shut down because you are all behaving like a rabble.