Spiriling power prices and the Palaszczuk government’s addiction to damaging green energy targets are have a devastating impact on regional businesses says LNP deputy leader Deb Frecklington.
Ms Frecklington and Mirani candidate Kerry Latter visited the Bushman’s Bakery in North Mackay today to see first-hand the impact of rising electricity prices.
Ms Frecklington said recent independent reports confirming wholesale electricity prices in Queensland are the most expensive in the nation.
“Queenslanders are paying too much for electricity and we now know the failed policies of the Palaszczuk Labor Government are responsible for families’ pain,” she said.
“Worse still, every extra dollar Labor adds to the power bill of small businesses like the Bushman’s Bakery is the nail in the coffin for another Queensland job.
“First Annastacia Palaszczuk committed Queensland to a crazy 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 that is estimated by Queensland’s Productivity Commission to add a massive $10 billion to Queenslanders power bills.
“Then two weeks ago Labor released its carbon-tax-by-stealth zero carbon emissions policy by 2050 that is nothing more than a blueprint for higher electricity prices and thousands of jobs losses for Queenslanders.”
Every extra dollar Labor adds to the power bill of small businesses… is the nail in the coffin for another Queensland job.
Ms Frecklington said Labor was “entranced by loony left ideology”.
“This is not a party for blue collar workers,” Ms Frecklington said. “This is a Labor party more interested in saving the jobs of its own members in inner-city Brisbane than in saving the jobs of regional Queenslanders.”
Mr Latter said there wasn’t a local business or family he had spoken to that wasn’t hurting from rising power prices.
“Not a day goes by without me hearing from Mackay locals fearful of how they’re going to pay their ballooning power bill,” Mr Latter said.
“High energy businesses, such as the Bushman’s Bakery should be supported for providing much-needed local jobs, but instead they are facing the full brunt of Labor’s power price hikes – with no relief in sight.”
Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk government was committed to putting downward pressure on electricity prices.
Speaking at today’s Estimates hearing in Brisbane, Mr Pitt said in response to National Electricity Market (NEM) volatility and the associated higher electricity prices, the Palaszczuk government’s Powering Queensland Planhad cut the expected Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) electricity price increase by more than half.
The QCA had flagged a staggering 10.3 per cent increase in electricity prices, which was reduced to a still astounding 5.1pc increase following a widespread backlash by consumers over the announcement.
According to the Queensland Farmers Federation electricity prices for farmers have risen by more than 130pc since the pricing system over the past nine years.
Mr Pitt said to shield Queensland consumers from high electricity price rises, the Palaszczuk government directed Energy Queensland to remove the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme from network charges until at least 2020.
He said further actions under the PQP aimed to reduce wholesale prices including restarting the government owned Stanwell Corporation’s 385 megawatt Swanbank E gas-fired power station and directing Stanwell to undertake strategies to place downward pressure on wholesale prices.
The PQP also reaffirms the Government’s commitment to a 50 per cent target by 2030, which we’re transitioning to in a responsible, affordable and sustainable way, he said.