Thousands of eligible Queenslanders are missing out on the Palaszczuk Government’s $341 electricity rebate.
The rebate was extended to Commonwealth Health Care Card Holders (HCC) and asylum seekers from 1 January 2017.
While about 50,000 of them have received this vital assistance since then, it’s estimated at least another 100,000 people could be eligible for the rebate from the Government’s $196 million energy concessions fund.
And that has Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham concerned.
“We’ve been running an awareness-raising campaign since late last year targeting HCC holders but getting everyone eligible to apply would be an easier matter if Canberra would assist us.
“We first sought this help from the Federal Minister for Human Services in October 2017, only to be told Centrelink would not help with a mail-out.
“This is a just a nonsense. Centrelink is there to help people with cost of living pressures.
“I note, the Morrison Government has announced a $75 per single person one-off energy supplement.
“Our (HCC) annual electricity rebate per household is more than four times than what is being offered by the Commonwealth to a single person,” Dr Lynham said.
“If the Prime Minister is really serious about off-setting power price increases then he will allow Centrelink to help us with a direct mailout to HCC card holders who still haven’t applied for the electricity rebate.
“I have now written to the Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Mr Michael Keenan asking for this action.
“Recent national announcements that indicate the Australian Government shares the Queensland Government’s concerns that the cost of electricity is placing pressure on many households, particularly lower income families and those that rely on income assistance payments.
“I am asking his department to contact all the HCC holders in Queensland and advise them of their eligibility for the electricity rebate.
“The Queensland Government would cover any administrative costs to ensure that customers are made aware of this valuable assistance,” Dr Lynham said.
Currently about 580,000 eligible pensioners, seniors and veterans receive the electricity rebate.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham