THOSE WHOLE­SALE PRICES, NOW BE­ING PASSED ON TO HOUSE­HOLDS IN NORTH QUEENS­LAND, ARE FORE­CAST TO DE­LIVER $ 1.5 BIL­LION INTO THE HANDS OF THE PALASZCZUK LA­BOR GOVERN­MENT IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS NORTH NEEDS MORE CHOICES ON POWER

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AT A time when peo­ple are cut­ting back on food, heat­ing, and air­con­di­tion­ing just to af­ford their elec­tric­ity bills, it’s time to give the peo­ple of North Queens­land a choice when it comes to who they buy their elec­tric­ity from.

To sub­ject North Queens­lan­ders to the Er­gon en­ergy mo­nop­oly in the year 2017 is non­sen­si­cal and un­jus­ti­fi­able. Without com­pe­ti­tion, prices will con­tinue to soar and peo­ple and busi­ness will con­tinue to suf­fer.

The dire im­pacts of this mo­nop­oly be­came clear af­ter the Aus­tralian Power Project posted on Face­book a few weeks ago ask­ing how peo­ple were cop­ing with new elec­tric­ity price rises. It quickly turned into an out­pour­ing of sto­ries from North Queens­lan­ders fed up with ris­ing power bills.

The sto­ries of power bill hard­ship I’ve read have had me scratch­ing my head won­der­ing, how did we as a na­tion with so many abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources get to this point?

For some, ac­cess to elec­tric­ity has be­come a lux­ury.

What sur­prised me in the count­less sto­ries I’ve re­ceived from North Queens­lan­ders is a deep dis­sat­is­fac­tion with state- owned Er­gon En­ergy.

In the last Queens­land state elec­tion as­set sales were a large topic of de­bate.

The now Palaszczuk La­bor Govern­ment in the lead up to that elec­tion claimed that if elec­tric­ity as­sets were sold, ev­ery­one’s power prices would go through the roof.

But it now seems that in sta­te­owned hands, Queens­land Govern­ment owned elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tors have been caught out driv­ing the cost of whole­sale elec­tric­ity to be the most ex­pen­sive in the Na­tional En­ergy mar­ket.

Those whole­sale prices, now be­ing passed on to house­holds in North Queens­land, are fore­cast to de­liver $ 1.5 bil­lion into the hands of the Palaszczuk La­bor Govern­ment in the next 12 months.

Is it any won­der then that La­bor MPs, and the re­cently stood- aside En­ergy Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley, op­pose com­pe­ti­tion to Er­gon in the form of a new high ef­fi­ciency low emis­sion ( HELE) power sta­tion for North Queens­land?

The LNP’s an­nounce­ment of a HELE power sta­tion for North Queens­land is a sen­si­ble one — as are an­nounce­ments re­gard­ing other forms of re­new­able gen­er­a­tion to come on­line in the fu­ture.

The main mes­sage is that North Queens­lan­ders want a choice and they want com­pe­ti­tion to help bring power prices down.

As­sets can re­main in the Govern­ment’s hands to pro­vide a level of com­fort and se­cu­rity for the pub­lic, but they should also be sub­jected to com­pe­ti­tion to en­sure

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