Price- gouge probe call for power stations
THE Federal Government has written to the Australian Energy Regulator asking it to investigate claims Queensland’s government- owned power generators have been price- gouging.
In the latest development in the long- running stoush between the two levels of government over power policy, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg yesterday wrote to the AER asking it to look into pric- ing practises used by Stanwell and CS Energy.
It comes after the Liberal National Party wrote to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission last week asking it to investigate claims the generators had been using the market to drive up power prices, which generated higher dividends for the State Government.
Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls men- tioned the issue several times in his speech to the LNP state convention on Sunday, and promised to bring the issue up every day until the state election, due early next year.
“We have seen 70 per cent increases in the cost of power here in Queensland, because Labor is taxing businesses in order to balance the books,” Mr Nicholls said yesterday.
“The Labor Government has loaded these companies up with debt and demanded 100 per cent dividends, and in order to meet those requirements they’re gouging consumers. That’s why it’s actually a tax on Queenslanders.”
Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey directed Stanwell and CS Energy to change their pricing practises earlier this year in an effort to drive down power bills. However, he again rejected claims the generators had been gouging.