The price of power

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE na­tional boss of Coles said this week that some cus­tomers were for­go­ing fresh food and meat in or­der to be able to their bills, es­pe­cially the sky­rock­et­ing cost of elec­tric­ity. the politi­cians, he said, “still had some way to go” be­fore they un­der­stand the ex­tent and depth of this prob­lem.

He warned that it could feed into a ris­ing tide of pop­ulism in this coun­try as there has been else­where in much of the de­vel­oped world.

High power prices are boost­ing poverty in this coun­try, and help­ing to send some of the business class broke.

Also hav­ing a bit to say about politi­cians and power prices this week was Rod Sims, chair­man of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion. He urged the break-up of Queens­land’s state-owned power gen­er­a­tors, which would ben­e­fit con­sumers.

Sims said the power gen­er­a­tors had been “gam­ing” the sys­tem by var­i­ous means.

The Pre­mier re­jected Sims’ claims and said the gov­ern­ment had moved to con­trol the gen­er­a­tors and achieve a much lower whole­sale price of elec­tric­ity.

The fin­ger point­ing in the power game is end­less.

The states who still own the grids and gen­er­a­tors blame the lack of pol­icy cer­tainty over re­new­able en­ergy at the fed­eral level.

Sims and oth­ers have pointed to the “gold plated” poles and wires net­works owned by the likes of Queens­land, which un­der­pin higher prices and there­fore the re­turns to “rev­enue ad­dicted” gov­ern­ments. Of course, fat trea­suries en­able gov­ern­ments to look good come elec­tion time.

The thought that po­lit­i­cal par­ties have been ex­poit­ing power prices to in­flate gov­ern­ment rev­enue, when it suits them, is mad­den­ing. A cyn­i­cal use of power.

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