Morrison and Taylor put their 'big stick' away, now let's put people's power front and centre

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Australian people will be pleased to hear the Morrison Government has put away its “big stick” energy policy because it would have bad news for household bills.

It is the Electrical Trades Union's view that this legislation dreamt up in haste by Energy Minister Angus Taylor following the knifing of another Liberal Party prime minister last year would not have lowered household power bills.

In fact, it would have likely had the opposite effect, said ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks.

“For some inexplicable reason Angus Taylor thought that if the government was able to break up big energy companies into smaller energy companies, it would miraculously drive down household power bills,” Mr Hicks said.

“In reality, it would only create more CEOs, more company boards and more shareholders.

“Breaking up companies in the name of competition is not the answer to Australia's energy problems. And using taxpayer dollars to underwrite ancient technology over increasingly cheaper renewables is not the answer either.

“But Angus Taylor and the hopeless Morrison Government are wedded to these ideas that an overwhelming amount of evidence shows simply won't work.”

Mr Hicks said the best way to lower power prices was to take Australia's electrical generation out of the hands of for-profit companies and have them run by the state and for the people.

“Electricity is an essential service and the best way to drive down prices is not to create more electrical companies the prioritise profits above all else. This is what private electrical companies do,” the National Secretary said.

“The sell-off of state electrical assets over the past 30 years has seen prices rise while maintenance and investment in new generation has fallen.

“The private companies that have snapped up our electrical assets, many of them foreign companies and governments, have not invested in new generation despite reaping billions in profits off Australian consumers.

“Privatisation has been a complete failure and the solution is firm policies that put the needs of the people first. That means new renewable power, building a smarter grid and pursuing a Just Transition for workers must be front and centre.

“More privatisation, more corporatisation and more marketisation won't work and it's time the people of Australia took their power back from private companies that put profits above public needs.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, [email protected]

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