The Government has been forced to step in to protect consumers after it emerged that consumers are being forced to pay the equivalent of over $5,000 to avoid having to wait hours for an urgent gas supply to be delivered.
The price is being charged to residents in the State who do not have gas supply from the Queensland Power Networks (QNP) and have to pay a $200 fee for each additional hour they do not use their own gas.
The fee is designed to provide incentives for Queenslanders to stay within their limits of use and have their gas supply maintained, despite there being a shortage.
It is part of a wider government campaign to discourage people from using gas.
A QNP spokesperson said the charges were being used to incentivise customers to stay connected and ensure the reliability of their gas.
“The gas network is fully staffed and operating and gas supply is delivered on a 24-hour basis.
QNP provides gas services to customers of its wholesale customers and other regulated customers, as well as to other private and public sector organisations,” the spokesperson said.”
It is the responsibility of QNP to ensure that customers are connected and that their gas service is reliable.”
It comes after the Queensland Parliament passed legislation in March requiring customers to use at least half of their available gas supply for any given household.
However, the bill was not implemented, meaning customers who were not using the gas were required to pay more for the same service.
Mr Andrews said the Queensland government’s move was needed because Queenslanders had become more aware of the risk posed by gas shortages.
“I think it’s really important for the public to be aware of how these things can affect them in a very real way,” he said.
He said he did not want to see people lose out financially.
“We don’t want people to lose their homes, we don’t believe that we’re going to lose the ability to do what we normally do.
We just want people, the people that are dependent on this gas, to be able to maintain the quality of their life.”
Mr Andrews also said the Government was considering what it could do to encourage more Queenslanders into using gas as a way of providing energy for their families.
He added that while gas is a good energy source, it was also a very safe and reliable energy source.
“Our electricity grid is designed around the requirement that we have gas in the system, so if we have a problem, we’re all going to be at risk of having a leak,” he told News Corp.
“That’s why we’re also looking at the ability for Queensland to be a gas hub, and that’s why the State Government is going to do everything we can to ensure the Queenslanders have a reliable, reliable gas supply.”
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