Poor Victorians give up eating to pay gas cartel

Via HeraldSun:

Energy stressed Victorians are turning off heaters or going without food to cope with winter bill blowouts.

Welfare agencies expect a big spike in financial help requests from this month as mammoth costs flow through.

Vinnies spokesman Gavin Dufty said the shock of heating bills left some on low incomes choosing between keeping warm and eating.

“Some go to shopping centres to try to keep warm, others go to bed early and wrap themselves in a doona, or cut back on food or don’t get prescription medicines filled so they can afford winter energy bills,” Mr Dufty said.

“Others in extreme cases use open fireplaces to cut down on costs but this can pose a safety risk if their chimney flue has not been cleaned or is left unattended. Others don’t have the cash to service gas heaters which exposes them to carbon monoxide poisoning risks or means going without heating.”

Mr Dufty urged people to check whether they were getting concessions or a utility relief grant if they were entitled.

Gas bills should be half the current price under the terms of its Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) agreement between the gas cartel of BHP, Exxon, Santos, Sheel and Origin and the federal government.

The Australian spot price is $8Gj and contract price $10Gj when it should be $4.50Gj under the ADGSM.

That would also cut electricity prices by around 30% over time.

Maddeningly for Victorians, they are a large gas surplus state producing very cheap gas from Bass Straight at around $1Gj. Yet it is now sold for $10Gj to the gas-fired power firms that dominate VIC marginal prices, owing to the QLD gas exporters buying up all of the spare gas from SA and QLD.

If Australians had any brains and spine they would warm themselves by the fire of a burning Canberra on this issue.

Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


    • Labor isn’t in power, and these poor people don’t vote liberal, so they can expect to remain cold or hungry.

      Even if Labor were in power, the donations they’d get from the gas lobby would make them kill the ADGSM. Come to think of it, the corruption of Labor might be a reason they’re not in power.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Politicians on all sides of the fence are simply far too lazy to bother with nationalisation. They have zero credentials or experience required by their “portfolios”, so why would they complicate matters by taking on responsibilities requiring actual skills and industry knowledge beyond talking?

      Most importantly, why would they nationalise when they’ve earmarked the private companies providing these essential resources for their cushy life-after-politics consultancy and advisory positions? (Lobbying, of course. Not actually doing any kind of real work or decision making)

      The entire system is broken, but everyone loves it the way it is.

  1. a burning Canberra office or meeting house perhaps, the majority of us here constantly vote for redistributive progressive policies.

  2. The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

    Well then they shouldn’t spend all their money on avocado on toast, I-phones and foreign holidays.

    • The first step towards having warm heating and food in your belly is to get a good job that pays good money.

      If food was unaffordable no one would be buying it.

  3. clearly all those poor Victorians need to do is buy an investment property or two.

    That will give them an instant ticket to richness…and good looks.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Totally. The average Sydneysider is $200 000 dollars.better looking. Vicorians are meth drinking derros.

  4. yeah paying feww hundred buck a year more is impossible in the nation of millionaires who spend more per capita on coffee than some nations on food

  5. I have two “middle class ” friends who can not afford any heating this winter.
    Electricity bills, water and repairs to cars and sewerage( and cars both old but still going type, have eaten all available money.
    One retired, after working as landscape gardener all her life, one worked in antiques( no jobs there any more) and doing any odd jobs that come her way.
    This winter has been freezing. Not something l thought l would see in comfortable Melbourne.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      With the temperature in Melbs at 11 c. and a wind chill factor bringing it down to 3 or 4, the hipsters are going to be sourly shoving their dough into their fireplaces.

  6. don’t get prescription medicines

    The plebs should not have to pay for pills – free pills will reduce poverty and inequality.

  7. I’m wary of these anecdotal stories. I volunteer for Vinnies and I am frequently surprised by the number of people I visit whose homes are heated way beyond comfortable.

      • Not just anecdotal, but judgmental opinion as well (“heated way beyond comfortable” – comfortable for whom ? MCBoyah ? The stoic spartan who sleeps on cold hard slabs of frozen sheet ice ? Or the layabout dole bludging 80 year old retiree with two broken hips and arthritic hands ?)

        What a far-king total muppet.

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      I agree. They’re in there with the heating whacked all the way up, wearing Speedos and sipping iced cocktails.

  8. Complex Carbon Unit

    It’s been freezing here in Melbourne this winter, gas and electricity are just a huge rip of…..a privatised rip off ! Thanks Mr Jeff Kennett sir 😠

  9. Jumping jack flash

    Think of the poor employees of the gas companies, they need more debt! The poor souls!
    House prices keep rising, more debt is required to purchase them. Incomes alone will never do the job.
    Do we expect these people to save as much money is required to purchase a house.

    Yes, sure, save up 600K and let me know when you get there. Meanwhile, 200 years later… houses are 250 billion dollars each.

    Fortunately for these people they work in an industry that is one of those “eminently gougable” essentials for life. The people who need gas will simply pay whatever it costs, even if it means consuming less food, until the price of gas is so high that the prices of alternatives become relatively cheaper, at which point everyone switches across to it.

    (and the original, gouged essential item experiences a spectacular death through price hyperinflation as consumption plummets, to maintain shareholder’s profitability expectations!)

    This the the most basic supply and demand of the free market system, people!

    Add the requirement for enormous, insane quantities of debt into the mix and costs of these gougable essentials shoot away very high, very quickly as people need more income to obtain more debt, and as everyone should be aware, prices set wages.