Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Danny Pearson has brazenly misled Parliament in Question Time today about the distribution of support payments to the victims of Victoria’s extreme weather events.

Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables, Brad Rowswell asked Minister Pearson:

“Of the 1,200 businesses eligible for the government’s Prolonged Power Outage Business Payment, as at midday today, how many of those payments have landed in the bank accounts of businesses?”

To which Minister Pearson responded:

“I am advised that as of yesterday, 3120 applications have been received with 2773 applications processed for payment. We anticipate that the money will land in bank accounts from today.”

The truthful answer Pearson should have given is: zero, zip, zilch, or nada.

Asked to clarify if he was wrongly referring to prolonged power outage payments for households, Minister Pearson failed to correct the record.

Minister Pearson’s shameful silence speaks volumes about the Andrews Labor Government’s contempt for, and inability to, effectively help Victorian businesses who are being smashed by prolonged power outages – just weeks after being hit by the government’s fourth COVID-19 lockdown.

The Andrews Labor Government’s response to this energy emergency has been botched from the start. It took the government more than a week to call in the Australian Defence Force and distribute generators to a mere 13 per cent of households suffering from power outages.

In an embarrassing concession, it has now been revealed that the thousands of powerless households who were not provided with a generator could be without power for up to three weeks.

Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio claims that access to a reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy supply is vital to the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

If Labor’s response is anything to go by, the health and wellbeing of Victorians is no longer something that this government is capable of prioritising or delivering on.