Ingham Daily Press

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‘LNP should come clean on asset sales’ – MP Nick Dametto

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto is calling on the Liberal National Party to ‘level with Queenslanders and rule out the sell-off of the state’s electricity assets’ – which he says could push up power prices for
residents.


Mr Dametto, who is up for re-election on 31 October, said voters had every right to be wary of the LNP’s ‘privatisation agenda’, given the previous Campbell Newman LNP government had considered a plan to privatise $33.6 billion worth of the state’s assets.

He said: ‘We know that’s what the LNP wanted to do if they won a second term in 2015. It would have seen electricity generators CS Energy and Stanwell sold, as well as Ergon’s retail business.


‘The LNP leadership team still have a Newman stench and Queenslanders want to know – will they dust off the old LNP manual if they get back in with a majority?

‘The LNP should be upfront with Queenslanders now as to whether they will do this.

‘We all know what happens when governments
privatise our assets – the service goes down and the cost to the consumer goes up.


‘And let’s not forget when Labor sold off assets under the former Bligh government – selling off Queensland assets is a one-way ticket into political exile known as opposition.’

Mr Dametto said the KAP ‘would always block the sale of state-owned assets’.

He added: ‘Unlike the LNP, we’re not beholden to failed free-market ideology.

‘We believe Queensland’s strategic assets, like electrical power generation and distribution, must be kept in the hands of Queenslanders.

‘They should never be allowed to end up controlled by profit-driven private
entities.


‘Market competition is not a silver bullet solution. The LNP’s claim of electricity prices for households and businesses falling by an average of $300 per year if elected is just nonsense.

‘You only have to look at jurisdictions where competition has been introduced to see that.’

Mr Dametto said residents in Victoria and south-east Queensland, where electricity competition existed, had seen similar skyrocketing prices to regional Queensland.


‘Those I’ve spoken to in the energy industry have made it crystal clear what is required if we are going to get serious about slashing your power bill.


‘Industry bodies have stated that the removal of unnecessary regulatory charges which inflate power prices would be a huge help.

‘Things like banning energy network owners from overvaluing
their assets to inflate their returns – this could save customers $500 million to $1 billion per annum.


‘Additionally, removing the competitive neutrality fee so Queensland’s state-owned energy businesses can borrow at the government interest rate instead of market rates as well as removing
unnecessary charges levied by the Queensland Competition Authority could reduce prices by up to 10 per cent.

‘The gold-plating of our electrical assets needs to stop. Removing these unnecessary government fees and charges means consumers will have more money in their back pocket.


‘Voters should be very careful in trusting any candidate who cannot give a straight answer on asset sales or spruiks the ‘free market’, which has proven to be the vehicle that has driven up the cost of
living for hard working Australians.’

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