Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has defended his $40 million plan to help fund electrical goods for battling Victorians, insisting it’s not a gimmick.
Should the opposition win the November 24 election, low-income households will be eligible for a 40 per cent discount to replace energy-sapping and ageing fridges. A 50 per cent discount will also be applied to plasma or cathode ray tube televisions.
Mr Guy estimates it will save up to 85,000 households as much as $325 a year.
The program will require $40 million over four years, as well as the support of a major retailer.
“We believe it’s money well spent,” Mr Guy told reporters while visiting Wendouree, near Ballarat, on Friday.
“This is a program we are proud of – proud to announce, proud to bring to Victoria and one that we know will help many Victorians cut the cost of living at the time they need it the most.”
Retirees Arnie and Joyce Currie, who invited the opposition leader to check out their 13-year-old fridge, welcomed the program.
“We’d certainly take advantage of it,” Mrs Currie said.
But Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio dubbed the plan a gimmick.
“We’re not Oprah Winfrey here, where everyone gets a free set of steak knives or a free car, we’re serious,” she said.
Mr Guy hit back, accusing Labor of doing little to alleviate the rising cost of living during their four-year term.
He also pointed out that even if elected, his government could do little to stop power blackouts during times of peak demand this summer.
“Obviously we can’t make a change in 24 hours,” Mr Guy said.
A new power station would be built in Victoria to try to bring down electricity
prices if the Liberal-Nationals win the election, he said, bringing and additional 500MW into the grid.
“We won’t cross our fingers and hope or pray we’ll get on with the job to build that power station.”
Later on Friday Mr Guy visited Ballarat to pledge $20 million to add 1500 car parks.
It is an extra 500 parks than proposed by Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday.