Han­son en­ergy pol­icy $ 3b shy

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

BUR­DEKIN MP Dale Last claims there is a $ 3 bil­lion “black hole” in One Na­tion’s en­ergy plans af­ter the mi­nor party de­clared it would fund a new coal- fired baseload power sta­tion in North Queens­land.

One Na­tion at the week­end an­nounced a plan to use its in­flu­ence in the next state par­lia­ment to axe Bris­bane’s $ 5.4 bil­lion Cross River Rail project and use the money to fix the North’s wa­ter and power cri­sis.

The party also wants to spend $ 1.5 bil­lion on a coal­fired power sta­tion, $ 360 mil­lion on wa­ter se­cu­rity for Townsville, in­clud­ing $ 110 mil­lion for treat­ment plants, and $ 750 mil­lion on a hy­dro- elec­tric power sta­tion and Stage 2 of the Bur­dekin Falls Dam.

One Na­tion also pledged to cut power prices by 20 per cent.

LNP MP Mr Last said in or­der to slash en­ergy costs, One Na­tion would have to scrap the uni­form tar­iff pol­icy.

“One Na­tion say they will con­vert $ 1.3 bil­lion re­turned each year from the gov­ern­ment- owned en­ergy busi­nesses into a 20 per cent cut in power bills, but this would mean scrap­ping the uni­form tar­iff pol­icy which sub­sidises elec­tric­ity prices in re­gional Queens­land,” he said.

“The uni­form tar­iff pol­icy is worth an av­er­age $ 485 mil­lion a year, so peo­ple in r e g i o n a l Queens l a n d don’t pay more.”

Mr Last said One Na­tion’s en­ergy pol­icy was “pure voodoo economics”.

“If you live in re­gional Queens­land, a vote for One Na­tion is a vote for La­bor and big­ger not smaller power bills,” he said.

How­ever, Queens­land One Na­tion leader Steve Dick­son said One Na­tion would not change the sub­sidy.

“Be­cause we don’t have to,” Mr Dick­son said.

“We have enough money that we’ll be sav­ing through the pro­cure­ment pro­cesses.”

One Na­tion also an­nounced a “bet­ter man­aged­gov­ern­ment” pro­cure­ment pol­icy which would end the “pre­ferred providers” sys­tem and open the scheme to any business in­ter­ested in work­ing with the gov­ern­ment.

“What we’re talk­ing about an­nu­ally ( is) La­bor and LNP ripped out $ 1.3 bil­lion from en­ergy pro­duc­ers,” he said.

“If we push that back into the en­ergy provider it will re­duce ( costs) by 20 per cent.

“We’re look­ing at the $ 1.3 bil­lion that’s been price­gouged from gen­er­a­tors.”

Dale Last.

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