More Queenslanders will get support to resolve energy and water disputes after the Newman Government announced a review of the role of the Queensland Energy and Water Ombudsman.
Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the review would consider expanding the scope of customer complaints the ombudsman could investigate.
“This review is part of the state government’s commitment to greater transparency and accountability,” Mr McArdle said.
“It is about identifying ways that more Queenslanders could use the Energy and Water Ombudsman to resolve energy disputes.
“Currently, dispute resolution services are restricted to ‘small customers’ who use less than 100 megawatts per year, which is normally households and small businesses.
“The definition of a ‘small customer’ has led to the exclusion of some residents and small businesses.”
Mr McArdle said the Queensland Energy and Water Ombudsman should be available to those customers that need the most support, such as residential and small to medium-sized business.
“The Newman Government is committed to ensuring residents and small business energy customers receive access to dispute resolution services,” he said.
“The growth in red tape and the current ombudsman guidelines established under the previous Labor Government meant that too many Queenslanders could not benefit from the ombudsman’s free and independent dispute resolution services.”
The Department has had preliminary discussions with the Queensland Energy and Water Ombudsman.
A number of strategic working groups and reference groups have been formed to consult with industry members and customer representatives on key reforms impacting consumers including consumer protections and price monitoring.“We will carefully consider what these groups have to say before deciding on the most appropriate way to proceed with any reforms,” Mr McArdle said