POWER PRICES: Hinkler's nine candidates reveal their plans
ENERGY is a multi-faceted resource that affects all walks of life.
From costs associated with turning on a light switch to the economic and environmental factors that are tied up in energy, it's an important issue for everyone.
The NewsMail asked the nine federal election candidates what they had to say about the hot topic.
We asked them how power costs can be reduced in the region, what the best way to achieve this might be, and how important they thought the issue was to the constituents of Hinkler.
If you have a topic you'd like us to cover in the lead-up to the federal election, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your contact information.
Amy Byrnes - Animal Justice Party
AUSTRALIA has the highest per capita emissions in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with 25 tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted per person every year.
Community awareness and education is key, however, alternative sources of clean energy are also required to rapidly reduce our reliance on dirty energy.
Increases in competition and consumer choice will drive prices down and community education will help people to make cleaner, more sustainable and more efficient energy choices.
Both the environmental impact and the cost of power are concerns for Hinkler constituents as power is a necessity and the rising costs are creating growing financial pressures. Household electricity is one-sixth of our energy usage, so we need more than panels on roofs to decarbonise our energy infrastructure.
People are highly aware of the climate crisis we face and would like to see swift action from the government to quickly address the extreme weather events, soaring temperatures, loss of livelihoods and the cruel waste of animal lives from drought and flood that we have had to endure here in the Hinkler region.
We aim to prohibit any fossil fuel expansion.
Joe Ellul - United Australia Party
I CAN tell you that the cost of electricity in the region is a problem.
It's a real pain Hinkler residents are feeling every time they open an energy bill.
I have been out in the region taking to small business owners and individuals and they are all under stress by the cost of electricity.
High electricity bills just take more and more money away from our households.
There has been a massive decline in the standard of living for Australians residing in regional Australia.
It's time we did something about it. I can tell you that the one-off $75 electricity payment released in the latest budget doesn't cut it, especially since, if you're even eligible, you won't be getting the one-off $75 payment until 2024.
Firstly, let's look at who actually owns our energy companies? Where are the profits going?
With a name like 'EnergyAustralia' you would be forgiven to believe this is an Australian-owned business ... the truth is that it's foreign-owned.
A great deal of our current electricity costs are due to billion-dollar loans to foreign companies at 10 per cent interest. Industries took our massive loans with foreign investors and it is the everyday Australians paying back the interest.
Damian Huxham - One Nation
EVERYONE I speak with tells me the same thing, "electricity is far too expensive”.
We are an energy-rich nation yet we have the most expensive electricity prices in the world. At the same time we export our quality coal to foreign countries for their citizens to enjoy affordable reliable electricity.
This extra cost to power prices because of the government using our money to subsidise ideological energy schemes come with no evidence that the climate will change, even if Australia produces zero CO2 emissions. In fact, experts say there would be virtually no change to the earth's temperature if Australia didn't produce any emissions.
While most people, myself included, support renewables, coal guarantees a constant reliable baseload affordable electricity that can be dispatched any time - night-time, when the wind isn't blowing, when the sun isn't shining - any time.
More low-emission coal-fired power stations will reduce the burden of the excessive cost of electricity, and removing the GST component from an electricity bill will give 'immediate' relief for families and businesses struggling to afford electricity. If people want to see change in how the government works ... they need to change the people they send to government.
Anne Jackson - Greens
WE NEED to create a publicly-owned national energy retailer to compete with private power companies, stop price gouging and drive down power bills.
We also need to drive investment in renewables to create new jobs in clean energy and provide cheaper, more reliable electricity.
Power bills are out of control and the people in our community rightly feel that we are being ripped off.
That's why we need an electricity system that puts people's cost of living concerns ahead of the profits of big corporations.
This is a climate change election and the Greens are the only party with a serious plan to lead the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables so we can tackle climate change, create the clean energy jobs of the future, and deliver cheaper electricity.
David Norman - Independent
THE main three costs, highest to lowest, that make up your electricity bill are distribution, generation and retailer charges.
In this region the distribution charges are set by the Australian Energy Regulator every five years, the retail charges are set annually by Queensland Competition Authority.
Generators will offer their power to the market at the highest price they will likely get - a regular profitable sale from retailers. Providing the cheapest possible method of generation is currently the main way to cut the overall cost of power.
On smaller a scale, government-subsidised rooftop solar and wind turbines along with battery storage are viable options to reduce the need to purchase power from the grid. On a larger scale, solar farms are a viable option of providing cheaper generation to the grid. Instead of profit-driven privately owned farms the government could be investing in these and providing power at an 'as cost' basis.
To do away with electricity bills altogether will require you to disconnect from the distribution network (go off grid). This can be done by installing a self-reliant generation and storage system (solar or combine with wind and diesel generator) and a backup battery system.
Richard Pascoe - Labor
POWER bills are a significant concern to households in Hinkler.
There has not been a clear energy policy developed by the current government which is causing a lack of investment in new energy-creating infrastructure, driving up energy prices.
Families and locals are backing renewable energy because they know more renewables means lower prices. Bill Shorten and Labor are committed to cheaper, cleaner power. We will deliver 50 per cent of power from renewables by 2030.
Labor will help families take control of their power bills by providing a rebate to install batteries and solar, end the power privatisation mess, and better regulate power prices.
A Shorten Labor Government will also modernise Australia's ageing energy transmission infrastructure to unlock new sources of clean, affordable and reliable energy.
This will support unlocking renewable energy through transmission links to renewable energy zones, new interconnectors to lower electricity prices and boost system stability, new gas infrastructure, including pipelines and pipeline upgrades and extensions and technology solutions that facilitate the smooth integration of renewable energy into energy systems and promote energy security.
Keith Pitt - LNP
THE Queensland State Labor Government is entirely responsible for setting the price of power and owns 70 per cent of the generators.
Last financial year the state government pocketed $1.65billion from customers.
We need more energy generation but most importantly, it must be affordable and reliable.
When we have farmers who can't afford to irrigate their crops, seniors turning off fridges and businesses faced with million-dollar power bills, something has to be done.
Cost of living is the second biggest issue for constituents in my electorate.
Everyone uses power - families, businesses, farmers, seniors, schools, community organisations, sporting clubs - they are all suffering.
Bill Shorten should pick up the phone today and tell Premier Palaszczuk to reduce power prices and help the families, seniors, farmers and businesses that are struggling with crippling electricity prices.
Moe Turaga - Independent
WE NEED to sit with the state members and lobby for an alternative energy source or power company.
While the focus is to reduce fossil fuel-powered energy, it's important to roll in renewable energy source at a quicker rate than what we currently have so far.
If solar is what we have now, let's build on it.
I do believe that hydro power could be an alternative out of Paradise Dam.
Energy bills are very important, nothing functions without electricity these days.
People in the rural areas should never be put in this category, where no other power company can be here to compete.
We need to lower electricity prices in the rural areas to suit cost of living.
Adrian Wone - Independent
I AM focussing my campaign on delivering affordable and reliable electrical energy for Hinkler.
I propose to do this by turning the local sugar cane industry into a renewable energy industry where the entire crop will be used to produce the fuel required to power generators. In Brazil, whole cities of 160,000 use this system.
In Antarctica, sugar-based power generation is also utilised.
In Hinkler, we grow enough sugar cane to supply 100 per cent of our requirements. Renewable energy derived from agriculture is very environment friendly.
A locally based generator reduces costs because we utilise the existing grid. This is just one example how sugar-sourced energy will be cheaper than fossil fuel.
Because renewable energy is a simpler process than making sugar, the sweetener, many costs are removed. Both farmer and miller will be better off.
We cannot trust this transition to politicians. We need only recall the NBN debacle etc.
Only a true independent can achieve a transition that ensures citizens of Hinkler are the beneficiaries.
We can keep the lights on and provide competition to ensure fair pricing.
With this proposal - here in Hinkler - everyone is a winner.