The Liberal National Party today unveiled key planks of its plan to bring down electricity prices in Queensland and support growth in the renewable energy sector.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Queenslanders deserved affordable and reliable energy to their homes and businesses.
“They’re not getting that under the Palaszczuk Government because Labor has been using electricity as a secret tax and set state-based renewable energy targets that push up everyone’s bills,” Ms Frecklington said.
Ms Frecklington said the LNP would boost competition in the energy sector and support green energy by:
- restructuring government-owned power generators from two to three entities which will drive down prices through more competition, and;
- mandating investment by our government-owned energy companies in renewable energy generation to pair dispatchable and intermittent supply in the same portfolio.
“Under Labor Queenslanders are paying record high power prices,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Households are hurting, small businesses are under pressure and vulnerable Queenslanders like seniors and pensioners are struggling to afford the basic necessities of life.
“Labor reduced competition in the energy sector when Anna Bligh merged the three state-owned generators (Tarong, CS Energy and Stanwell) into two, all while Annastacia Palaszczuk was sitting at the Cabinet table.
“To promote more competition and put downward pressure on wholesale prices, the LNP will split our government-owned power generators from two into three entities – a move expected to save Queenslander families over $50 a year.
“The Government’s own modelling shows that creating three state-owned generation companies will reduce wholesale prices by more than 8 per cent.
“While Labor chases short-term sugar hits, this long-term structural reform is backed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission*, small business and consumer advocates.”
Ms Frecklington said an LNP government would also mandate investment by our government-owned energy companies in renewable energy generation.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have blindly followed South Australia’s rush to a 50% renewable energy target, ignoring the blackouts and higher prices it’s caused there,” she said.
“Under Labor, Queenslanders pay more for green schemes than any other state, but have the lowest amount of renewable energy.
“The LNP would work with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on the right mix of electricity generation to ensure that power is affordable and reliable through a national approach.**
“National action through the National Energy Guarantee is predicted to save Queensland households $300 a year from 2020.
“We will support additional jobs and investment in Queensland’s renewable energy industry and reduce electricity prices.”
*“Having two generators control two-thirds of the capacity rather than three is clearly a retrograde step. It clearly gives them more market power than they would have without that step and this clearly means we’re paying higher prices because of that move from three players to two.”
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims 612 ABC Radio, 21 July 2017
** In 2017, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) indicated that the resilience of the national energy market is at risk and that ‘renewable generation can provide some support to maintain reliability’. However, if renewable development was to lead to earlier retirement of existing baseload generators, the risk of increased blackouts would increase.