Western Australian consumers would be faced with big rises in electricity and gas charges under the Opposition.
"While Labor has a commitment not to raise domestic prices in the current year, the Opposition has made no such commitment," Fuel and Energy Minister Geoff Gallop said today.
"In its energy policy, the conservatives made no reference to future tariffs for ordinary consumers," Dr Gallop said.
"There is evidence that under the Opposition, ordinary families would bear the brunt of price rises.
"In Victoria, the Kennett Government is about to increase gas and electricity charges for a second time since October.
"Electricity, gas and water charges rose in Victoria by 10 per cent in October. And now Treasurer Alan Stockdale says they could go up again.
"Mr Stockdale says the Victorian Government will continue to dismantle the present system which subsidies home power costs."
Dr Gallop said that Western Australia could look forward to similar price slugs here as a conservative government shifted the burden of running its programs on to ordinary consumers.
"As well, GST would lift electricity charges by over 10 per cent and for the first time the price differential enjoyed by natural gas and LPG under Labor governments would be removed," he said.
"So much for an Opposition commitment to keeping prices down and encouraging alternative fuels.
"The conservatives' commitment to introduce an off-peak electricity tariff is admirable - but it has already been introduced by SECWA, and offers cost savings to consumers who want to take it up.
"It is worth remembering that under the last four years of a Liberal Government in WA, electricity tariffs went up by an average 15 per cent a year."
Dr Gallop said that for a Labor Government, the needs of working families would take priority, but not at the expense of business.
"For instance, last November, for the first time in 30 years, small businesses found their electricity bills were actually less than the previous bill when tariffs were reduced by five per cent," he said.