ACCC bursts Labor's thought bubble
Queensland households are staring down the barrel of higher power prices under a Labor Government, with Australia’s consumer watchdog raising concerns over the ALP’s plan to merge the state’s energy companies.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said he was “concerned” that merging Stanwell and CS energy would “affect competition” and ultimately “increase the cost of generation that can flow through to the consumer.”
Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said Labor’s core election pledge had been exposed as a dud.
“During the campaign Curtis Pitt tried to make out that the proposed merger was a ‘silver bullet’ but it has now backfired spectacularly,” Mr Langbroek said
“The keystone of Labor’s economic ‘plan’ has been exposed as nothing more than a harebrained scheme from a Treasurer just making things up on the run.
“It’s no secret that Annastacia Palaszczuk and Curtis Pitt were under immense pressure during the campaign to reveal exactly how they would manage the state’s finances and now it’s become clear that they can’t.
“This smacks of inexperience and incompetence from a government that’s not ready to govern and sadly it’s Queenslanders who will suffer.”
Mr Langbroek said the last time a Labor Government fiddled with the power industry, electricity costs skyrocketed.
“Former Premier Peter Beattie promised Queenslanders lower power prices but they soared. Now it looks like yet another case of history repeating,” he said.
Mr Langbroek said that if the merger thought bubble doesn’t come off, then there was going to be a massive hole in the Budget and Labor would struggle to balance the books.
“Labor has already back flipped on its promise not to sell assets and not to increase debt,” he said.
“Now we have to question whether or not Curtis Pitt can match the LNP’s promise to deliver three fiscal surpluses and not increase or introduce new taxes.
“A little over a month in government and Labor is falling apart at the seams.
“Queenslanders deserve better than an inexperienced Labor government just making it up on the run.”