Queensland electricity most secure and in public ownership: report

newsA report by the independent Grattan Institute has confirmed Queensland’s publicly owned electricity generation, transmission and distribution was the most secure of all mainland States connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, (pictured), said according to the Grattan Institute and the Turnbull Government’s Australian Energy Market Operator, Queensland was the only mainland NEM State to be assessed to be “no shortfall” risk for two and 10-year outlooks.

Annastacia Palaszczuk

“My Government stopped Tim Nicholls and the LNP privatising Stanwell, CS Energy, Ergon, Energex and Powerlink. By keeping these businesses, including a fleet of coal-fired power stations in public ownership, we have kept our electricity supplies the most secure and put maximum downward pressure on electricity prices,” she said.

“While there has been double-digit price increases in other States, we have kept price increases to an annual average household bills to 1.9% over the last three years. Average annual electricity bills increased by 43% under Tim Nicholls.”

As Grattan Institute report shows, the privatised electricity networks in the other mainland NEM states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia present shortfall risks as early as 2019-20.

“The NSW situation is perverse. The NSW LNP Government privatised their electricity businesses and they have refused to develop their own energy resources, including gas.”

“On privatisation, the Federal LNP Government gave the NSW LNP Government $2.19 billion bonus to privatise its assets, including in the electricity sector. Now Malcolm Turnbull says he’s concerned the private owner of the Liddell power station in NSW – AGL – will close it in 2022. Why did he encourage the NSW Government to sell its energy businesses in the first place?”

“Queensland taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to keep a privatised NSW power station open. Queenslanders didn’t stuff this up – LNP politicians in Canberra and Sydney did.”

“Queensland has kept its power stations in public ownership. Queensland has kept its power stations, including our coal-fired power stations, open. We have taken the 385 megawatt Swanbank E power station out of the LNP mothballs in time for summer.

“Unlike NSW, Queensland’s policy stability has also attracted more than $5 billion in large-scale renewable energy assets.”

“Unlike NSW, Queensland has developed its gas reserves for domestic and export markets.”

“Queensland sent more than 3700 gigawatt hours of electricity to New South Wales last financial year to keep its power on.”

“Without Queensland, New South Wales – including the Prime Minister’s harbour side mansion – would struggle to keep their lights on.”


Slow GDP growth a risk for our future: Bowen

Opinion 2Federal Labor has expressed concerned that the June National Accounts show annual growth of only 1.8 per cent, which is a long way short of the growth potential of the Australian economy.

With annual economic growth below 2 per cent, and with it being below 2 per cent for three of the last four quarters, this is now the worst run economic growth performance since the GFC. The June National Accounts put Australia’s annual growth performance below that of Canada, USA, New Zealand and the OECD.

The thing about the Treasurer saying ‘better days are ahead’ is that he can say it forever without actually having to deliver better days now. Without total government investment – driven largely by the new Royal Adelaide hospital and the Weatherill Government – and government consumption, today’s growth number would have been flat.

It’s ironic that we have the Turnbull Government trying to whip up fear of socialism while it relies on public spending to prop up the June quarter growth figures. Average wages fell 0.1 per cent in the June quarter which is another reminder of the squeeze being felt by low and middle income earners. And living standards slipped significantly.

Despite these concerns, the Turnbull Government’s policy to cut penalty rates remains in place and it continues to fail to deal adequately with the surge in power prices. The ABS notes that for the last five quarters, households have been spending more than their incomes.

This is in line with the RBA Governor’s concerns around household debt and the risks this poses to future economic growth.

Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Treasurer