Federal member for Hinkler - Keith Pitt.
Federal member for Hinkler - Keith Pitt. Alistair Brightman

Pitt pushes 'big stick' energy bill

FEDERAL Member for Bundaberg Keith Pitt is one of six Nationals party members to sign his name in a bid to encourage the Prime Minister to re-table the "big stick” energy policy.

The six "rebel nationals” have urged Mr Morrison to take immediate action to legislate the bill in the next parliamentary sitting, and have also asked for the underwriting of a new power station to be constructed for regional Queensland before the May election.

The legislation would allow the government to seek orders divesting an energy company of its power generation assets.

Mr Pitt said the cost of energy continued to be one of the biggest issues for people in Hinkler, with power bills out of control.

"I want to be able to look my constituents in the eye and tell them that I have done everything I possibly can to bring down power prices,” Mr Pitt said. "Premier Palaszczuk continues to ignore thousands of families, seniors and businesses in regional Queensland who can't pay their power bills.

"We have canegrowers who can't afford to irrigate their crops and businesses like Bundaberg Walkers who are faced with a $1 million power bill.

"One way to drive down prices is to build additional generating capacity that is reliable and affordable.”

But not all were as positive about the policy.

Electrical Trades Union QLD NT state secretary Peter Ong called the six MPS "disgraceful sell-outs”.

"Queenslanders should be in no doubt the message this dysfunctional LNP Government is sending is we are coming after your assets whether you like it or not,” Mr Ong said.

However Mr Pitt said the legislation would not result in state assets being privatised.

"This is a Labor lie and scare campaign simply being regurgitated by the unions,” he said.

"I suggest the unions start to stand up for their members. We have the Deputy Premier of Queensland saying that workers in the mining industry should look at retraining. Why isn't the union telling her she's putting their member's jobs at risk? "In the case of a government owned energy company, the legislation will make abundantly clear the court can only order a divestment to another entity owned by the same government.”

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