O’Dowd tack­les pow­er­ful is­sue

En­ergy mar­ket shake up rec­om­mended

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS - Te­gan An­nett te­gan.an­nett@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

FROM in­vest­ing in coal to re­form­ing the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket, Mem­ber for Flynn Ken O’Dowd is tak­ing a stand to tackle the re­gion and coun­try’s en­ergy cri­sis.

Mr O’Dowd (pic­tured) on Fri­day un­veiled his En­ergy Ac­tion Plan and En­ergy Pol­icy State­ment, which he says, has the abil­ity to fix the crit­i­cal power sit­u­a­tion hit­ting the hip pocket of the re­gion’s fam­i­lies.

The Na­tional Party mem­ber’s ac­tion plan calls for a crack down on “rort­ing re­tail­ers”, a re­form to the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket, and lift­ing state gas bans.

“Ex­or­bi­tant en­ergy prices are hav­ing a crip­pling ef­fect on busi­nesses, large and small, across the coun­try, nowhere more so than in Glad­stone, Boyne Is­land and Tan­num Sands,” Mr O’Dowd said.

The im­pact was re­alised to its full ex­tent in March this year when about 100 peo­ple lost their jobs at Boyne Smelter Lim­ited af­ter the site could not se­cure a price deal for its elec­tric­ity.

“We’ve al­ready seen how out of con­trol en­ergy pric­ing is cost­ing jobs,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“No one can af­ford fur­ther job losses like those lost at BSL.

“It is im­per­a­tive that as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what is ar­guably the en­ergy cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia, I put for­ward my plan for fairer power prices for in­dus­try, busi­ness and fam­i­lies,” Mr O’Dowd said.

The Mem­ber for Flynn of seven years said he ex­pected his plan to res­onate with many in the elec­torate and the party room alike.

“We are de­ter­mined to be re­lent­less in our ap­proach to pro­duc­ing re­li­able, af­ford­able en­ergy.

“We can­not achieve this phi­los­o­phy while we over sub­sidise and over in­vest in re­new­ables and not coal.”

“This plan is about pro­vid­ing af­ford­able, re­li­able, en­ergy so our fam­i­lies, farm­ers, and fur­naces have the in­gre­di­ents to not just get by, but to thrive,” Mr O’Dowd said.

De­fend­ing his views on coal fired power in this pol­icy state­ment, Mr O’Dowd said it was the most re­li­able, sus­tain­able and af­ford­able gen­er­a­tor of en­ergy.

“Coal fired power is gen­er­ated on de­mand. It does not rely on the sun to shine or the wind to blow,” he said.

His state­ment also de­scribed the NEM as “out of date” with rules that “were not de­signed to sub­sidise the con­struc­tion of re­new­ables”.

Ex­or­bi­tant en­ergy prices are hav­ing a crip­pling ef­fect on busi­nesses, large and small, across the coun­try,

— Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd

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