Electricity Prices

30 Oct 2015 11:50 AMMichael Hart


Electricity Prices

Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (11.32 pm): It has now been nine months since this Labor government was elected. Since then, we have seen a steady stream of members, starting with the Premier, down to the ministers and on to every other government member stand up and say what an accountable and transparent government they intend to be. Yet every time they introduce a bill into the House, or they speak to a motion, transparency and accountability goes completely out the window. We saw that again tonight, when the private member’s motion about the aggregation of electricity corporations in this state and what that would do to electricity prices was debated. This side of the House sought to have a look at the modelling that might have been available to see whether, in fact, that would lead to cheaper electricity prices. The fact is that it is going to lead to higher electricity prices.

Tomorrow, the Australian Energy Regulator will hand down its final decision about power prices in this state for the next five years. I thought that it might be appropriate to review it quickly for the benefit of those members opposite because, clearly from the debate tonight, they do not understand how electricity prices are set in this state. I have here in my hand—and I will table it for the benefit of members—the preliminary decision for Energex and there is another one for Ergon that was handed down earlier this year by the Australian Energy Regulator. That report shows that over the next few years there will be a decrease in electricity prices of 1.8 per cent. That decrease is pretty well averaged over the next five years.

For those members opposite who are listening, electricity prices were set in 2010 to 2015. Owing to the actions of the Labor Party, over the past three years, while the LNP was in government, we saw electricity prices going up. But the actions that the LNP took are leading to a reduction in electricity prices over the next five years. That is what this preliminary report says.

However, the Labor government has increased the debt on our electricity companies by $3.15 billion. That is going to have an effect on electricity prices. I fear that we are going to see that in tomorrow’s final deliberation of what electricity prices are going to be for the next five years. Members on the other side of the House should be under no illusion that, if electricity prices go up over the next three to five years, it will be their fault. That is what is going to happen.

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