PRIVATE MEMBER’S STATEMENT Electricity Prices Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (2.49 pm):
If last night’s debate told us anything, it is that this Labor government—which claims to be open, transparent and accountable—is anything but. Something else they have been keeping secret from the people of Queensland is the hidden tax in their electricity bills. Respected author Hugh Grant’s latest paper, ‘The winners and losers of the monopoly game’, talks about how the Queensland government profits from Queensland’s excessive electricity prices, and I table that. Tabled paper: Document, dated April 2018, by Mr Hugh Grant, Executive Director, ResponseAbility, titled ‘The Winners and Losers of the Monopoly Game: How the Queensland Government profits from Queensland’s excessive electricity prices’ . Mr Power interjected.
Mr HART: For the member’s benefit, the report shows that the Queensland government is ripping out 47 per cent from everybody’s electricity bill in the form of a hidden tax. For every $1,000 in network costs the Queensland government benefits by $470. When we add to that the fact that 65 per cent of the generation in this state is owned by this government and that at any one time more than that may be put into the Queensland grid and consumed by the people of Queensland, this government is making a lot of money from generation. In the last budget of this government they made $405 million more than they had budgeted for— not $405 million in total but $405 million more than the budgeted figure in their own budget. That tells us that they are profiting to the extreme on the generation side of it. They are profiting by 47 per cent on the network costs, and when we add in the fact that in South-East Queensland they have to deal with CS Energy and Alinta, they are profiting there. In the regions, Ergon is the only supplier of retail electricity to most of the people, so they are profiting there. This government is profiting about 50 per cent from everybody’s electricity bill. My challenge to the minister is that if I am wrong, come in here and tell us what the real figures are and I will apologise. If not, the people of Queensland deserve to know what this hidden tax is all about. They deserve to know how much this government is ripping them off, so I issue the challenge today. The minister needs to come into this room and tell the people of Queensland exactly how much this government is ripping them off in tax on electricity.