12 June 2019 –
The following is an extract from my speech, delivered on Tuesday 11 June, 2019.
The Palaszczuk government knows that every dollar counts when it comes to the cost of living. I am pleased to advise the House that in regional Queensland electricity prices are heading the same way as the Blues in this year’s State of Origin series: down! From 1 July, a typical household will pay $62 a year less and a small business will pay $144 less. This is the second year in a row that the independent Queensland Competition Authority has recommended a price cut. Bills fell this year and will fall again from 1 July, meaning that all up over two years a small business will have saved $230 and a typical household will have saved $82. The fall for a typical regional household represented a 4.4 per cent decrease and for small businesses a 5.8 per cent drop on the current 2018-19 prices.
This shows that our Affordable Energy Plan is delivering for Queensland families. It is our renewable energy that is keeping prices down. In fact, the QCA’s own report notes that about 5,200 megawatts of new renewable generation is entering the National Electricity Market, with more than 1,350 megawatts committed in the Queensland market. The report also notes that the newly announced and publicly owned clean energy generator, CleanCo, will contribute to reducing price volatility and will drive down wholesale prices in the future. That renewable energy powerhouse in Queensland is pushing down prices, meaning cheap, clean, renewable power and lower prices, while at the same time
addressing climate change.
As I have said before, the Palaszczuk government’s Affordable Energy Plan is delivering for regional Queenslanders. I remind honourable members of just what we have been delivering. We have delivered a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation, but we are doing better than that. We have delivered two annual $50 dividends for households from the dividends of Queensland’s publicly owned electricity assets, that is, assets that Queensland mums and dads own. We have delivered a $75 EasyPay reward for regional households and $120 for small businesses that sign up for Ergon Energy’s direct debit and monthly eBilling. We have delivered interest-free loans and grants for solar and battery storage systems and rebates for consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances. Our positive and consistent energy policies are delivering for all Queensland families, particularly in our regional communities.