PM’s retailer browbeating off-beam: Union

Wednesday August 9, 2017


The Prime Minister’s decision to summon energy retailers to Canberra for a dressing-down is unlikely to affect energy prices, the national head of the energy union has said.


“While it might be good optics for the Prime Minister to be shouting at the people associated with the names and logos that appear on electricity bill letterheads, if he was serious about bringing power prices down he’d clamp down on rogue generators,” Mr Hicks said. 


“We need to stop generators gaming the system, gouging prices and manipulating the grid to create artificial price peaks,” he said.


He said the weekend letter to retail bigwigs demonstrated a lack of understanding from the PM of the real issues in the national electricity system.


“They told people that abolishing the carbon tax would bring prices down, and it hasn’t. They haven’t been able to come up with a coherent energy plan to keep prices under control, so they’ve resorted to theatre.” 


“Consumers don’t want to spend every other weekend trying to negotiate a new deal with the next electricity retailer when they’re all charging roughly the same amount. They just want cheaper bills, and best way to deliver that is to fix the problems at their source – and that starts in generation.”


“I have no great affection for energy retailers. Many of them are corporate giants that pay little or no tax on the profits they make.


“But the simple fact is that the Prime Minister’s tactics won’t do a thing to bring down power bills.


“It’s long past time to put the whole of the electricity system back into the hands of the people who depend on it – privatisation is a proven failure. This means changing the rules around how it works, not just putting on a show so people will think you care about them.”


Media enquiries: Lachlan Williams – 0447 682 027 – [email protected]


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