Minister for Energy and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark McArdle

IRP set for electricity price reform

Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle today announced the appointment of a three man Independent Review Panel (IRP) to oversee the reform of power delivery by government-owned electricity entities in Queensland.

Mr McArdle said the new IRP would be part of an Inter-Departmental Committee tasked with implementing power tariff reforms promised by government to tackle spiralling cost of living rises to households and business.

“The Beattie/Bligh governments buried their heads in the sand but I am setting a new standard of accountability. Everything from executive numbers down to numbers of wires and power poles will be looked at to improve delivery and tackle rising consumer costs.

“Corporate structures, staffing, everything that drives prices will come under the microscope of this independent watch dog as it sets about recommending how to make the system work better.

“Its scope will be broad in scrutinizing all cost pressures on electricity prices, including specific reference to network costs, electricity supply and retail competition. We have to deliver the best results to Queenslanders.”

The three member IRP consists of Chair Mr Tony Bellas, Mr Matt Rennie and Mr Alec Faulkner. The IDC will deliver a final report to government in January 2013, with interim findings before that date.

“Given the significant impact on electricity prices of the cost of building the electricity network, one of the specific elements of the IDC work program will be the oversight powers of the IRP as independent watch dog,” Mr McArdle said.

“One of its key tasks will be recommendations to government to tackle the blow out under the previous government in network costs, relative to service provision.”

Tony Bellas has over 23 years in senior public and private sector management including as former CEO of Ergon Energy 2004-2010 and CS Energy Ltd 2001-2004.

Matt Rennie is Ernst & Young’s Oceania Leader for Power and Utilities, coordinating strategy and business development across multiple financial and business service lines.

Alec Faulkner has 30 years’ experience as an international advisor for the mining (including BHP Steel) and electricity industries and board management relating to regulatory and technical aspects of the electricity network.

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