Energy Minister Angus Taylor, alongside member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, addressed media in Gladstone on 30 January, 2018.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor, alongside member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, addressed media in Gladstone on 30 January, 2018. Matt Taylor GLA300119ENER

Cheaper power on Energy Minister's agenda

THE Energy Minister confirmed that the Federal Government will aim to reduce electricity prices when it returns to parliament in July.

Angus Taylor said the parliament will continue pushing its "big stick” legislation which will weaken state owned power companies and punish them if its savings are not passed onto the consumer.

"It is our policy, we took it to the election, it has been through the party room, and it has been introduced to parliament,” Mr Taylor told The Australian on Wednesday.

The legislation has been described as extreme and controlling by the industry.

Hinkler's Federal MP Keith Pitt said last week that the government will prioritise affordable electricity, with the legislation aimed at increasing competition and accountability in the industry.

There was no competition in Bundaberg given that Ergon was the sole power supplier.

Mr Pitt referred to a parliamentary speech he made last December when he listed the necessity for the legislation, which is when he said; "seniors, families, businesses and producers in regional Queensland are screaming out for relief on electricity prices, yet the Palaszczuk Government continues to ignore them.”

Through the legislation, state controlled electricity companies would not be able to restrict supply in order to increase prices.

Legal action could be taken through the Federal Court with fines up to $10 million, and the Treasurer would have the power to offer other companies financial contracts to supply electricity, but needed the recommendation of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Bundaberg State Member David Batt said the federal legislation aligned with the state-level LNP's intentions, if it was to form government in the next election.

Under the state LNP's scheme the number of power generators would increase to three companies, Mr Batt said.

Mr Batt said increased competition could reduce power bills by up to $900 across three years.



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