Scrapping Labor’s carbon tax is the quickest and easiest way of cutting electricity bills and relieving cost of living pressures on all Queenslanders.
Attending the COAG Energy Council meeting in Brisbane, Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle called on all Australian senators to recognise their constituents overwhelmingly supported Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s mandate to axe the carbon tax.
“Significant planning failures and panic-hurried investment by the former Labor Government has caused a decade of skyrocketing electricity prices, made significantly worse by the increasing cost of the carbon tax and green schemes,” Mr McArdle said.
“The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) in its draft 2014-15 price determination for electricity found the average Queensland family would immediately see around $174 come off their annual power bill if the carbon tax was scrapped. A couple on a pension would save $116.
“If Australia’s Senators are fair dinkum about wanting to reduce cost of living pressures on struggling Queensland families, getting rid of Labor’s carbon tax is a no brainer.”
Unlike Labor in government and in opposition, Mr McArdle said the Newman Government was taking decisive action to put downward pressure on electricity prices, including the biggest ever reform of Queensland’s power sector to stabilise future electricity prices.
The Newman Government’s moves to stabilise Labor’s skyrocketing electricity price increases included:
- freezing the electricity Tariff 11 for 2012-13, which saved households an average $120
- providing a $620 million subsidy so regional customers pay the same price for electricity as people in Brisbane
- boosting the electricity rebate for pensioners to $282 this year
- closing the 44c Feed-in Tariff Solar Bonus scheme to new customers, while also reforming the transitional 8c solar FiT in south east Queensland
- reforming Network Reliability Standards to save $2 billion in capital expenditure;
Mr McArdle said the work to reform the electricity sector in Queensland was ongoing and about to enter a new phase with more strategic reform aimed at stabilising future electricity prices, including:
- the introduction of price monitoring in south east Queensland to promote greater competition among retailers
- the adoption of the National Customer Electricity Framework which will offer consumers greater protections.
Mr McArdle said the Government would soon release a 30 Year Electricity Strategy that will map out an affordable and sustainable power sector for Queensland into the future.