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Oakeshott targets states' monopoly

Rob Oakeshott
Rob Oakeshott Jerad Williams

KEY independent MP Rob Oakeshott wants to remove the states' monopoly on electricity price setting rules.

The Member for Lyne will introduce a bill to the Parliament that would make the National Electricity Law an act of the Australian Parliament, rather than a uniform act of state and territory parliaments as it is now.

"States that still own electricity networks have seen the biggest increases in electricity prices - and still have the biggest say in how the pricing rules are set," Mr Oakeshott said. "There's a clear conflict of interest in states owning monopolies and regulating monopolies at the same time.

"The law is meant to balance incentives for power monopolies against prices to households and businesses - but regulators, COAG ministers and consumers looking at their bills can see that the balance has been lost."

"It's now clear that electricity network revenues accounted for the bulk of the 70% increase in NSW power prices over the past six years - not carbon pricing.

Mr Oakeshott said electricity prices were largely set under state-based rules for regulating electricity monopolies, and have increased massively with little or no compensation for consumers.

The New South Wales MP provided a copy of the bill to Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday.

Ms Gillard made headlines in August when she delivered an ultimatum to state premiers - slow rising power costs by December or face tougher regulations.

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