LNP plans for cheaper power

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

FOR decades, the peo­ple of CQ have be­moaned the lack of com­pe­ti­tion in the elec­tric­ity mar­ket.

That’s all set to change thanks to a po­ten­tially gamechang­ing plan re­vealed by Op­po­si­tion Leader Deb Freck­ling­ton dur­ing her Queens­land Bud­get re­ply speech yes­ter­day.

Ms Freck­ling­ton an­nounced her plan to bring down elec­tric­ity bills by an es­ti­mated $300 by in­tro­duc­ing com­pe­ti­tion to re­gional Queens­land’s elec­tric­ity mar­ket.

She said her party would in­tro­duce re­forms to level the play­ing field to make the mar­ket more at­trac­tive for en­ergy re­tail­ers to com­pete against Er­gon, en­sur­ing all Queens­lan­ders could look for bet­ter deals.

“House­holds in re­gional Queens­land de­serve af­ford­able en­ergy but the gov­ern­ment-owned Er­gon En­ergy has a stran­gle­hold on the mar­ket,” Ms Freck­ling­ton said.

“The LNP be­lieves more com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket­place is the best way to drive down prices and should not be re­stricted to the south­east corner.

“Com­pe­ti­tion drives ef­fi­cien­cies and cuts bills and that’s why an elected LNP Gov­ern­ment would make ex­tend­ing retail com­pe­ti­tion to the whole of Queens­land a pri­or­ity.”

She said it was not good enough that Queens­lan­ders north of Gympie and west of Toowoomba were treated like sec­ond-class cit­i­zens and the LNP’s plan would end La­bor’s elec­tric­ity di­vide, de­liv­er­ing real choice for re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

Ms Freck­ling­ton said by giv­ing re­gional Queens­lan­ders the op­por­tu­nity to shop around, house­holds would save around $300 a year (based on the ex­pe­ri­ence of house­holds in the south­east where com­pe­ti­tion was strong and con­sumers were sav­ing $350 to $400).

Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Mines and En­ergy An­thony Lyn­ham rub­bished the LNP’s plan say­ing “float­ing an idea is not pol­icy”.

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