PRICE SHOCK: Cane farmer Geoffrey McCarthy is unimpressed by continuous rising electricity costs. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
PRICE SHOCK: Cane farmer Geoffrey McCarthy is unimpressed by continuous rising electricity costs. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN130913GEO2

Inquiry set to look at electricity prices

AN INQUIRY into sustainable electricity prices will be the first task for a new productivity commission.  

The Queensland Productivity Commission will conduct a public inquiry into electricity prices to ensure Queenslanders are protected from price changes.  

Member for Bundaberg, Leanne Donaldson said the Commission would work closely with key stakeholders to lift the state's productivity and improve living standards for all Queenslanders.  

"We're wasting no time in getting on with the job of setting up this independent commission to help us steer Queenslanders towards a better future," Ms Donaldson said.

"The Commission's first task will be to review electricity pricing in Queensland and provide options for consumers."

 Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the electricity price review would need to balance a range of competing interests to seek the best outcome for consumers.  

"It will also take into account the need for a competitive electricity market, efficient investment in infrastructure and good environmental outcomes."  

Ms Donaldson said to enable the Queensland Productivity Commission to do its job effectively, the previous LNP Government's decision to deregulate retail electricity prices in south east Queensland would be placed on hold for 12 months.  

"We know that a lot of households and businesses are doing it tough. Under the previous LNP Government, electricity bills hit double digit figures."   

Average power bills rose by 43% and electricity prices in Queensland went from well below the national average to well above it.  

"Queenslanders deserve better than that and we believe this independent review will form the basis for a fairer and more sustainable electricity pricing system."  

"Among the changes, electricity retailers will be required to inform their customers ahead of any price changes, with exit fees for leaving an electricity contract capped at $20.  

"Ultimately, we want to ensure that vulnerable Queenslanders have the protection they need when times are tough."  



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