Statement from LNP Leader Tim Nicholls - Electricity Prices

“In a speech to the National Press Club today, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Rod Sims has confirmed that government-owned generators in Queensland have driven up electricity prices for consumers.

‘Generator market power was clearly seen in Queensland with two generators having two-thirds of capacity and prices spiking. When the Queensland Government directed its generators to tone down their bidding, prices immediately reduced significantly.’ (Rod Sims, ACCC chair, National Press Club address 20/9/17)

“Mr Sims comments prove that Annastacia Palaszczuk is using electricity prices as a secret tax on Queenslanders. 

“Under Labor, Queensland electricity prices are at record highs and families and businesses are hurting. 

“Queenslanders remember that Annastacia Palaszczuk was part of the Cabinet that locked in 70 per cent increases to network prices in 2010-11.   

“As Premier, she’s ripped out 100 per cent dividends from the government’s energy businesses, loaded them up with $5 billion of debt and allowed government-owned generator Stanwell Corporation to price gouge and drive up electricity prices. 

“It’s clear that Queensland Government-owned network businesses took advantage of relaxed controls on network expenditure – and all of this on Labor’s watch. 

41 per cent of the increase in electricity prices over the last 10 years has been due to network costs and as I say we keep forgetting that. Those poles and wires that run down the street are the main reason you’re paying too much for electricity.  

‘It was state governments, when they owned these poles and wires that deliberately loosened the rules which made it very hard for the AER (Australian Energy Regulator) to make sure that consumers were only paying efficient costs.  

‘I have to say that, when those rules were loosened, the two states that took most advantage, or the two network businesses, were the government-owned ones in New South Wales and Queensland.’ (Rod Sims, ACCC chair, National Press Club address 20/9/17)

 “The LNP has a plan to reduce power prices by scrapping Labor’s crazy 50 per cent renewable target and fast-tracking approvals for a privately-owned, low-emissions, coal-fired power plant for North Queensland.”