PM to grill power chiefs
More transparency called for on pricing deals
ELECTRICITY retail bosses will be hauled in to Canberra today and told to “do better” on power prices crippling Australian households.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet the heads of eight power companies to demand answers on why consumers are being pushed from discounted prices to higher price contracts without their knowledge. Electricity price hikes have hit Queensland hard, with 460 disconnections a week, while one Brisbanebased manufacturer revealed it had been hit with a $ 135,000 a year increase – or 25 per cent, in 12 months.
Mr Turnbull said he would push for more transparency in pricing deals.
“The gap between the worst and best offers can range from $ 900 to $ 1500 depending on the household. This situation must be addressed – urgently and directly,” he said.
“These companies can and they must do better.”
Bosses from Energy Australia, Origin Energy, AGL, Snowy Hydro, Momentum Energy, Alinta Energy, Simply Energy and Australian Energy Council were called to the meeting today.
Packer Leather director Lindsay Packer said his family’s company exported kangaroo hides, but continually had its margins squeezed because, while costs went up, they could not increase their own prices while remaining competitive internationally.
“The Government’s promises are off in the never- never. We want to see changes that happen immediately where prices flatline or start to dip a little,” Mr Packer said.
“It doesn’t matter what side of politics, but the policies we’ve had the past 10 years are driving manufacturing away.
“It doesn’t matter how efficient you try to get, I’m not seeing governments responding to industry.”
The fifth- generation family- owned Australian company has its leather used in pink Kookaburra cricket balls and Sherrin footballs.
Treasurer Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will also attend the meeting with the energy bosses.