Nearly two decades of poor government decisions has resulted in today’s high costs .of energy. I am concerned that Queensland families will face the prospect of further electricity price hikes under the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s policy.
According to the Queensland Productivity Commission Report into Electricity Pricing – Labor’s 50% renewable energy policy will mean:
- Queensland power stations will lose $6.2 billion
- Queensland taxpayers will fund $10.8 billion in subsidies
- Queenslanders will be subsidising electricity prices in other states
- Queensland’s economy will shrink
- Queensland families will pay $317 million more for electricity
- Businesses will pay $221 million more and industry will pay $746 million more for electricity.
Unfortunately we’ve seen years of chaotic episodes of state and previous federal government interference and regulations – such as Labor’s carbon tax, billions of dollars in government subsidies for solar power which have pushed up the cost of supplying electricity, gold-plating of poles and wires, gas moratoriums, state-based renewable energy targets which differ from the Federal Government’s objective (23.5% of Australia’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020).
All this policy uncertainty has frightened off investment in new generation, high-efficiency coal plants. Queensland has some of the cleanest coal in the world on our doorstep, yet Queenslanders are paying through the nose for electricity which is unacceptable. Annastacia Palaszczuk has flatly ruled out supporting a coal-fired power station in North Queensland based on ideology and her extreme renewable energy targets. A future Liberal National Party Government would fast-track the necessary approvals to ensure a North Queensland coal-fired power station becomes a reality.
Renewables have a place in the mix of energy sources, as does coal. However, like all energy sources, their real costs (short-term and long-term) need to be transparent as does reliability, particularly in peak. The challenge is ensuring that government policy and subsidies don't distort the most cost effective way to achieve the best outcomes for consumers who are currently paying dearly for those policy failures of the past.
The other challenge is that the State Government is taxing by stealth through gouging State-owned energy providers for high dividends which are then passed on to consumers.
It's time for a real clean-up of this mess so Queenslanders, domestic and our businesses, can have cost-effective, realisable and affordable power again.