The energy problem
MORE than 26,000 people in the federal seat of Leichhardt are in line for a special one-off handout from the government to help with crippling electricity bills.
Pensioners and unemployed are recognised as vulnerable to the soaring costs of power in the Sunshine State.
They are among 3.8 million nationally who are eligible for the $75 payment, which is called the Energy Assistance Payment.
One can only wonder what the federal pollies think about special handouts to cover the distress caused by rising power prices that are largely a state responsibility.
It’s perplexing that Queensland is in this position.
Regulatory and pricing agencies appear helpless in staunching the regular price rises for energy in this State, with another whopper approved just recently.
It is a top priority now with consumers – that is, ordinary people. Power bills are now among the worst problems facing those who are struggling financially (and for industry too, from sugar producers who irrigate a lot, to factories and other producers).
A recent national poll showed that voters are overwhelmingly concerned with power prices, but at the same time they are very much in support of lower carbon emissions.
At the moment it appears we can’t have both. There’s political paralysis due to this contradictory set of attitudes.
Here in Douglas Shire there are people who envisage an alternative system of power generation, related to the sugar industry.
As well as that there’s solar generation, which individual consumers can use to address their own circumstances.
How attractive it appears, increasingly, to be rid of this mess.