News

Nicholls promises to protect families from power price rise

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls. Dave Hunt

THE man controlling Queensland's purse strings has slammed predictions that annual electricity bills could rise more than 20% in the coming financial year.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said that was an "unacceptably large price rise" in Queensland as he refused to rule out seeking an asset sale mandate at the next election.

"This government is determined to make sure Queensland families are not kicked in the guts by this huge price rise," he said.

His comments come as the Queensland Competition Authority proposed transitional charges, to meet increased network costs, which would see a typical customer's annual bill increase from $1184 to $1437.

The draft determination forecasts a $21.4% price increase for the common household tariff (Tariff 11) and 15.7% for small business customers (Tariff 20) across Queensland.

The authority released on Friday its draft determination on regulated electricity prices for 2013-14 which had to consider Energex's network charges increasing about 23% and Ergon Energy's network charges increasing about 13%.

The report found energy costs, estimated to increase about 9%, would be the next biggest cost driver.

QCA chairman Malcolm Roberts said greener energy schemes, including carbon tax, accounted for 11% of costs while the solar bonus scheme related network charges in south-east Queensland were expected to rise 23%.

The QCA partially blamed the Queensland Government's decision to freeze the Tariff 11 notified prices in 2012-13 at 2011-12 prices for the need to transition to a higher cost-reflective tariff by July, 2015.

Mr Nicholls continued to blame the Australian federal energy regulator who he said had "taken its eyes off the ball for these companies" in recent years.

"What people are seeing today is the result of poor decision making over the past two or three years; gold-plating of the networks, solar bonus schemes and the carbon tax which has a significant impact in relation to these price rises," he said.

Mr Nicholls said 70% of the increase was outside his government's control but it would study the draft determination to see how it could reduce the impacts on families and make submissions to the QCA.

He said Energy Minister Mark McArdle's team was already working on tariff reforms including removing $2 million worth of expenditure from the networks for the forward years to reduce the price increase rate.

Mr Nicholls told 4BC radio on Friday morning that there might be merit in privatising the electricity industry in Queensland.

He would not rule out taking asset sales to the Queensland public at the next election when speaking to media during the afternoon.

"We've made it abundantly clear a number of times that we would not seek to sell anything without first seeking a mandate from the people," he said.


QLD POWER PRICES

  • 21.4% increase for common households
  • 15.7% increase for small businesses
  • Typical customer's annual bill to increase from $1184 to $1437

Topics:  electricity mark mcardle power queensland government tim nicholls



VIDEO: Snake bites city's own 'Steve Irwin' grandfather

WILDLIFE WARRIOR: Antonias Stappas, 76, was bitten on his fingers by a brown snake at his Redbank Plains home. Pictured with his daughter Seva Stappas and granddaughter Jorgina Reihana, 3.

Meet the 76-year-old who chased a snake, caught it and set it free

Nardya Miller honoured by her best friend

Nardya Miller passed away in January.

"She would have wanted something positive to come out of this."

Child safety intervention targets Ipswich families

A boy on bike and a car on the road

Program helps families safely care for their children at home

Local Partners

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

THE Oscars have ended with a moment that left everyone speechless — but not in a way anyone expected.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!