Victorian Government must ban bribes from predatory gas companies


The Victorian Greens have urged the Victorian Labor Government to urgently ban gas companies using predatory behaviour and bribes to lock Victorian homes into expensive and dangerous gas connections.

There have been reports that Multinet is paying households to connect to the gas network and Jemena is offering cash incentives to downgrade from clean, cheap electric appliances to outdated, polluting gas products.

Earlier today, during the budget estimates, Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens Ellen Sandell asked the Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio what the Government was doing to curb attempts by big gas corporations to bribe Victorians and keep households hooked up to gas – which costs people and the planet much more in the long-run.

The Minister said the Government was considering doing more to stop these practices, but wouldn’t commit to implementing a ban. Last year’s Government Gas Substitution Roadmap stopped short of banning new homes from connecting to the gas network, despite calls from the Greens.

Ms Sandell said Victoria used more gas in their homes than any other state, and that it was a huge driver of our emissions, and there was growing evidence about the terrible health consequences of using gas in homes, such as asthma in kids.

She added that there was no extra support in the Budget to help people get their homes off gas – in fact, the Budget cut a program that supported renters and low-income homes to switch from gas to efficient electric heaters, the Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Program

The Greens say that if the Government is serious about reducing the state’s emissions and moving towards renewable energy, it must ban gas connections in new homes and ban bribes from gas companies.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“This is atrocious, predatory behaviour from these big gas corporations.

“Big gas corporations know their product destroys the planet, is super expensive and bad for people’s health, so now they’re resorting to bribing Victorians to use it, and locking vulnerable people into a life of expensive gas use that also hurts their health.

“It’s outrageous – the Victorian Government must step in and ban these unethical practices from big gas giants.”