LNP’s lax ways trig­gered huge power price surge

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

I WISH to re­spond to the com­men­tary from the Bur­dekin MP Dale Last ( TB, 11/ 7) re­gard­ing elec­tric­ity prices.

Let’s put some facts on the ta­ble. In the New­man/ Ni­cholls term of gov­ern­ment they al­lowed elec­tric­ity costs to grossly spi­ral out of con­trol.

This re­sulted in a whop­ping 43 per cent in­crease in power pric­ing and had an enor­mous ef­fect on the cost of liv­ing for every­one in Queens­land.

We all re­call the LNP’s plans to sell off as­sets.

Had this oc­curred, we would be see­ing dou­ble- digit price in­creases that most of the other states are see­ing right now. Why is that? Be­cause they sold their as­sets.

The Mem­ber for Bur­dekin’s proposal is to set up an En­ergy and Wa­ter Coun­cil to deal with pric­ing in the en­ergy sec­tor.

Is Mr Last aware the LNP had three years to act while prices spi­ralled out of con­trol when they were in gov­ern­ment? They waited, how­ever, un­til the eve of an elec­tion to set up a “coun­cil” that never met.

Our La­bor Gov­ern­ment in­ter­vened ( to the tune of $ 770 mil­lion) to halve the 7 per cent pric­ing in­crease as re­cently set by the Queens­land Com­pe­ti­tion Author­ity ( QCA). This shows a clear in­tent by the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment to re­duce the cost of liv­ing on ev­ery­day con­sumers.

This in­ter­ven­tion slashed the QCA’s orig­i­nal price in­crease in half, de­liv­er­ing a sav­ing of about $ 51 for house­holds and $ 90 for small busi­nesses. We are al­ready work­ing with in­dus­try through the En­ergy Savers Pro­gram. Re­cent au­dits of 110 Queens­land farm­ing en­ter­prises found that power bill sav­ings of $ 3 mil­lion could be achieved.

We are sup­port­ing re­gional busi­ness cus­tomers by pro­vid­ing $ 10 mil­lion to help man­age bill im­pacts through en­ergy ef­fi­ciency mea­sures. This was an­nounced as part of our re­sponse to the rec­om­men­da­tions from the Queens­land Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion’s Elec­tric­ity Pric­ing In­quiry Fi­nal Re­port.

We are in­vest­ing $ 1.16 bil­lion on our Pow­er­ing Queens­land Plan. Of this amount, the Townsville re­gion will ben­e­fit di­rectly as $ 386 mil­lion has been bud­geted for our Pow­er­ing North Queens­land Plan. The Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to work to sta­bilise elec­tric­ity prices.

AARON HARPER, Mem­ber for Thuringowa.

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