State KAP Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has called for the Labor Government to ‘suck it up’ and absorb the cost of adopting reforms outlined in the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) report.
“I acknowledge the government would take a big hit on revenue however, with more than $7 billion committed to vote-buying infrastructure in Brisbane, such as the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, there is plenty of scope for this cost to be absorbed,’’ he said.
“This money is better spent in the hands of regional Queensland households and business.
“The ACCC recommends Queensland network companies write down the value of their poles and wires business which would result in savings of a $100 a year to customers.
“It is high time this Labor Government stood up and actually did something which will have a significant impact on the electricity bills of households and businesses.’’
Mr Katter said the KAP has been fighting for reform in the regulated electricity markets for a number of years, specifically regarding the regulation of the poles and wires, but the calls have fallen on deaf ears.
“As a result of the Labor Government not committing to these changes the KAP refused to support the 2016/17 state budget, however, with the LNP’s support, Labor’s budget was passed,’’ he said.
“The LNP and ALP Governments have been guilty of using Ergon and Energex as cash cows and sustaining this ‘rip off’ tax that is having such a big impact on people and businesses in regional Queensland.
“From 2015 to 2017 the collective dividend from the two companies was $4.9 billion.
“The issues of energy pricing has been placed in the too hard basket and kicked down the road by successive governments for too long.’’