KAP’s Robbie Katter is calling the government’s bluff on electricity prices, demanding they act immediately to ease the burden on hurting families, businesses and individuals. And he’s warned that if action isn’t taken, it will factor into future KAP decision making in the case of a hung parliament at the next election.
Robbie yesterday wrote to Energy Minister Mark Bailey, urging him to direct the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) to remove the unnecessary five per cent margin currently applied to regulated electricity prices.
“It’s a laydown misere,” Robbie said. “This issue affects every person and business in the state. The government keeps banging on about how it is committed to fixing the energy crisis to give people and businesses some relief from spiralling prices, well there is something they can do right now.”
“When calculating regulated prices, the QCA basically adds a five per cent buffer. Getting rid of this buffer would give immediate relief to struggling pensioners, families, businesses and individuals. Thirty dollars off a $600 bill might not sound like much to the people on George Street, but better that money in the hands of the consumers than the government,” Robbie said.
“Not only will this help people struggling to pay their bills, this supports KAP’s very clear objective when it comes to energy: minimise cost to stimulate development and jobs,” Robbie said.
Although the KAP greets Adani’s recent investment decision with open arms, Robbie warns policy makers can’t get complacent. “The Carmichael project isn’t a silver bullet. The North West Minerals province remains in dire straits from neglect, facing energy price increases as high as 400 per cent,” Robbie said.
“The government needs to keep as much money as possible in the hands of households and businesses to get the economy going and reducing electricity prices is a way for the government to do that”.
The impact of the five per cent will also benefit businesses. “Our energy assets should be seen as industry-enablers,” Robbie said.
The removal of the unnecessary five per cent margin is one of a number of initiatives being pushed by the KAP to immediately reduce electricity prices. Others include the removal of the government’s non-reversion policy which will allow customers who have taken up a non-regulated price contract to go back to a regulated offer from Energy Queensland and an indefinite freeze on any future increases to irrigation tariffs.
In his letter to the Minister, Robbie said: “I don’t believe the government has done enough to minimise the cost of these vital services and further intervention is required. I trust you will take this request seriously as I will commit to doing everything I can to minimise the cost of these economy-building services. This includes ensuring that government is delivered to the party that makes the strongest commitment to address these issues if a hung parliament situation arises at the next election.”