Queensland’s household bill rise the lowest
TIM Nicholls must have been living under a rock not to have noticed the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s energy reforms under the Powering Queensland Plan released last month.
Using the levers available to us because we kept our assets in public hands, we slashed the 7.1 per cent increase by more than half the same day the Queensland Competition Authority announced it, investing $ 770 million to shield Queensland consumers from large rises seen in other states.
We committed $ 386 million under our Powering North Queensland Plan including for a North Queensland clean energy hub, and brought back gas generation capacity mothballed by the LNP to put downward pressure on wholesale prices.
Within a day of our plan’s release, wholesale energy futures prices plunged 10 per cent in Queensland, which the Energy Users Association of Australia said was “providing real benefit and a ray of hope for all energy users”.
As Campbell Newman’s treasurer and right- hand man, Tim Nicholls had the power for three years to back Queensland electricity consumers and what happened?
Double- digit price surges were the norm year- in, yearout, totalling 43 per cent while he tried to privatise our power assets which would have accelerated even more price spirals.
Tim Nicholls has no credibility on electricity and now he’s at it again getting basic facts wrong in his column this week.
Electricity prices for households are the same whether you live in Townsville of Gladstone because they’re regulated.
In contrast to our 3.3 per cent, states with privatised power had huge rises this year – 19 per cent in South Australia and ACT, 11 per cent in NSW and 9.6 per cent in Victoria.
Mr Nicholls also ignores the renewable energy boom in North Queensland with solar power stations currently under construction in Townsville, Clare, Collinsville, Kidston and soon at Ross River – delivering jobs and energy security.
Sunmetals’ Townsville solar station will provide baseload power for its zinc refinery.
The fact is large- scale renewables are now the cheapest form of energy infrastructure compared to new coal- fired as confirmed by our nation’s chief scientist at the Senate Estimates Committee and AGL head Andy Vesey.
Peak business body the Australian Industry Group said a new coal- fired power station would not recoup its costs unless wholesale electricity prices were sustained at around double their historic average. They’re no hard- left green group – that’s the hardnosed business sector talking.
That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is investing $ 386 million to develop a North Queensland Clean Energy Hub to harness the plunging cost of renewables for the North.
Queensland already has eight huge traditional baseload generators – we have no shortage at all of baseload. What we have a shortage of is renewable energy to increase energy supply while acting on climate change and reducing impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
By getting basic facts wrong and looking to the distant past for solutions, Tim Nicholls shows he is as big a risk to the North’s economy and jobs now as when he was treasurer.
Real leadership is being across the latest technological and economic developments and ensuring the best outcomes for household power bills.