Union warns power sell off will lead to even higher prices

THE State Government has been warned if it sells off electricity assets, power prices will go up even further in Queensland.

The Electrical Trade Union said the Newman government had failed to reign in prices, as promised, with a 13.5 increase due next year.

Despite this, it says Queensland's power prices are still cheaper by 18% and 9% respectively than the privatised networks of South Australia and Victoria.

The ETU condemns the State Government for its phony "we won't sell assets without a mandate" mantra.

"They have lied to the Queensland people,'' the union said in a statement.

Queenslanders should reject the failed LNP experience.

"We will be campaigning against the re-election of an LNP Government that has failed disastrously for Queensland's working families.

"We will be campaigning to stop our essential services being sold off to for profit, predominantly overseas owned companies.

The announcement by the Treasurer today that the LNP State Government will sell assets was planned well before they commissioned former Liberal Treasurer and lobbyist Peter Costello to bring down his discredited Commission of Audit.

The government has consistently denied it had any plans to sell electricity assets; Ergon, Energex and Powerlink whether through wholesale privatisation or equity sale.

"They lied, they have as recently as last week been caught out putting the for sale sign up for the wholesale sell off of Ergon's forestry assets and ROAMES network, collectively valued at $60Million.

"The government's attempts to discredit legitimate community campaigns like the Not4Sale campaign have spectacularly blown up in their face.

"The government's announcement that scoping studies were being conducted in SunWater and Powerlink, confirmed the real Government agenda and they were called to account.''

"The government has been actively involved in pressuring State owned electricity entities to reduce their workforce by in excess of 1500 and implement cuts of 10%, which have had devastating impacts on communities like the South Burnett.''

Treasurer Tim Nicholls says that it will cost up to $30 billion for Queensland to pay down enough debt to regain the state's AAA credit rating.

He said $4 billion a year was being paid as interest on the debt, money he said ought to be allocated to critical services including health, education and police.

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