Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

Minister squashes power hike concerns

Concerns about the instability of electricity prices have been slammed by Minister for Energy Anthony Lynham and damned as lies.

The Queensland Farmers Federation issued a media release stating that "Queensland farmers face further electricity uncertainty" following the Australian Energy Regulator rejecting Energy Queensland's Tariff Structure Statement.

But Mr Lynham squashed the concerns, stating that the Palaszczuk Government had been delivering cuts to prices.

"Queensland has the lowest average electricity prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market," Mr Lynham said.

"The facts are that household and small business power bills in Queensland are expected to fall next year under a draft decision by a national energy regulator."

He explained that Ergon and Energex (the parent company of both is Energy Queensland) proposed cuts to their network charges in January, but the national regulator proposed those cuts could be slightly higher.

"The Palaszczuk Government is subsidising regional electricity process by almost half-a-billion dollars this year so families in regional Queensland pay the equivalent to families in the southeast corner," Mr Lynham said.

"We can achieve these savings for Queenslanders because we own our electricity assets - the generation, the poles and the wires.

"Under the LNP, power prices went up 43 per cent and they planned to sell Ergon and Energex."

But with the AER's final decision not to be published until the end of April 2020, Queensland Farmers Federation president Stuart Armitage said farmers would have a matter of months to assess best practice for their business.

"While QFF welcomes the AER's revised regulatory proposal figures, this is yet another frustration for farmers as the process has continually caused anguish and failed to provide clarity on future tariffs," Mr Armitage said.

In January after the submision by Energy Queensland was made to the AER, Energy Queensland chief executive officer David Smales said EQL had consulted widely in developing its proposals to ensure things were done right.

With the first proposal knocked back, Energy Queensland has until April 2020 to submit a revised proposal.


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