LNP's bold plan to reduce CQ power bills by $300
FOR decades, the people of CQ have bemoaned the lack of competition in the electricity market.
That's all set to change thanks to a potentially game-changing plan revealed by LNP leader Deb Frecklington during her Queensland Budget reply speech yesterday.
Ms Frecklington announced her plan to bring down electricity bills by an estimated $300 by introducing competition to regional Queensland's electricity market.
She said her party would introduce reforms to level the playing field to make the market more attractive for energy retailers to compete against Ergon, ensuring all Queenslanders could look for better deals.
"Households in regional Queensland deserve affordable energy but the government-owned Ergon Energy has a stranglehold on the market," Ms Frecklington said.
"The LNP believes more competition in the marketplace is the best way to drive down prices and should not be restricted to the southeast corner.
"Competition drives efficiencies and cuts bills and that's why an elected LNP government would make extending retail competition to the whole of Queensland a priority."
She said it wasn't good enough that Queenslanders north of Gympie and west of Toowoomba were treated like second-class citizens and the LNP's plan would end Labor's electricity divide, delivering real choice for regional communities.
Ms Frecklington said by giving regional Queenslanders the opportunity to shop around, households would save about $300 a year based on the experience of households in the southeast where competition is strong and consumers are saving $350 to $400.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham rubbished the LNP's plan saying "floating an idea is not policy".
"When it comes to any sort of policy the LNP is scant on detail and short on credibility," Dr Lynham said.
"They are certainly short on believability when it comes to electricity, having resided over increasing prices of more than 40 per cent in just one term of government.
"The Palaszczuk Government on the other hand is delivering for regional Queenslanders as has been supported by the independent QCA."
He said only last month the QCA confirmed initiatives were working for regional Queenslanders when it announced the largest decrease in tariffs in a decade with a typical regional household seeing a reduction in their bills of 1.3 per cent. This will be the second-time electricity prices have decreased under the Palaszczuk Government.
"We are already doing better than anticipated in meeting our pledge to keep changes in electricity prices below inflation for the next two years," he said.
"More than $464 million has also been allocated to ensuring families in regional communities and areas like Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa pay a similar amount for their electricity to a family or household in Brisbane."