Regional power prices going up under Labor

Palaszczuk Government unable to outline its plans for driving down electricity costs for families and businesses


Regional Queenslanders are again being slugged with higher power bills, with the Palaszczuk Labor Government again unable to outline its plans for driving down costs.


Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) determination for regional electricity prices showed the average household could expect a $41 increase in their power bill in 2016-17.


Mr Hart said the increase would be higher still for households also utilising tariffs 31 and 33.


“Regional small businesses are facing double digit percentage increases in their power costs, which is a huge concern for them,” he said.


“The bill for a typical small business on the main tariff will go up by around $236, or 11.2 per cent.

“For those businesses on the seasonal time-of-use tariff the average bill will increase by $660, or 15.8 per cent.


“This price hike will hit hard, considering it comes at a time when many regional communities are struggling with declining levels of business confidence and high unemployment.”


Mr Hart said the QCA report showed network costs, the largest component of customers’ bills, was decreasing.


“Network costs make up half of the electricity bill, so when these costs are going down that’s a good thing,” he said.


“This reduction relates to the decisions taken by the LNP when in government to strip billions of dollars in expenditure out of state-owned electricity companies and to put an end to the gold plating of the networks.


“The increase in prices we are seeing today is primarily in relation to higher energy costs. Unfortunately, the only policies we’ve seen from the Palaszczuk Labor Government are going to drive these costs up further.


“The government is even refusing to release a report which contains recommendations on ways of driving down electricity prices for Queenslanders in the long term.


“This again shows the Labor Government is asleep at the wheel, and unfortunately it’s Queenslanders who are paying the price through higher power bills.”


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