Wednesday, 25 October 2017
One of the things I love to do in my electorate of Petrie is get out and listen to local people. Whether they're talking about jobs or the cost of living, I love to listen to what they're saying and raise it here in parliament. One of the things they have been talking about, of course, is electricity pricing. They know that electricity pricing in Queensland has continued to go up. Part of that is because Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is using electricity as a secret tax. Let me explain why. When Annastacia Palaszczuk's Labor government came in in 2015, they said, 'We don't owe $80 billion as a state.' They moved some $4.1 billion in debt onto the state owned electricity assets. As a result of that, what's happened? Those wholesale companies have to make repayments—repayments of interest and principal. As a result of that, dividends from those electricity companies have risen substantially. In the last year of the Newman government, the dividends to Queensland were $90 million. In the last 12 months, the dividends to the Labor government have been $378 million—almost four times what they were under the previous Liberal National government. We know that Labor, by shifting debt onto those wholesale companies, has increased the price for Queenslanders. It is unfair for people in my electorate that the Palaszczuk Labor government are using electricity as a secret tax.
We've seen that Queensland has had double the number of spot-price spikes in the last 12 months. It's had the dearest electricity wholesale prices for the first six months of this year. It is unacceptable. The game is up. We saw the Labor Palaszczuk government wanting to offer Queenslanders a $50 credit on their electricity bill, but last night they voted to increase power prices again by a further $200. They lost $200 last night. There was a motion successfully moved by Mr Hart. It says:
(a) notes analysis of modelling commissioned by the Climate Change Authority that a 50% renewable energy target will cost an average household almost $200 a year; and
(b) calls on the Palaszczuk government to ditch its similar ideologically driven policy that will hurt Queensland families with higher electricity bills.
Shame on the Palaszczuk Labor government. All they want to do is drive up the cost of living for Queenslanders. We're awake to them and we won't stand for it.