Mark McArdle.
Mark McArdle. Warren Lynam

Govt to scrap carbon tax to ease cost of electricity bills

THE quickest and easiest way of cutting electricity bills and relieving cost of living pressures on all Queenslanders is to scrap the carbon tax.

Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle called on all Australian senators to recognise their constituents overwhelmingly supported Prime Minister Tony Abbott's mandate to axe the carbon tax at the COAG Energy Council meeting in Brisbane.

"Significant planning failures and panic-hurried investment by the former Labor Government has caused a decade of skyrocketing electricity prices, made significantly worse by the increasing cost of the carbon tax and green schemes," Mr McArdle said.

"The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) in its draft 2014-15 price determination for electricity found the average Queensland family would immediately see around $174 come off their annual power bill if the carbon tax was scrapped. A couple on a pension would save $116.

"If Australia's Senators are fair dinkum about wanting to reduce cost of living pressures on struggling Queensland families, getting rid of Labor's carbon tax is a no brainer."

Unlike Labor in government and in opposition, Mr McArdle said the Newman Government was taking decisive action to put downward pressure on electricity prices, including the biggest ever reform of Queensland's power sector to stabilise future electricity prices.

The government's moves to stabilise skyrocketing electricity price increases included:

  • freezing the electricity Tariff 11 for 2012-13, which saved households an average $120
  • providing a $620 million subsidy so regional customers pay the same price for electricity as people in Brisbane
  • boosting the electricity rebate for pensioners to $282 this year
  • closing the 44c Feed-in Tariff Solar Bonus scheme to new customers, while also reforming the transitional 8c solar FiT in south east Queensland
  • reforming Network Reliability Standards to save $2 billion in capital expenditure;

Mr McArdle said the Government would soon release a 30 Year Electricity Strategy that will map out an affordable and sustainable power sector for Queensland into the future.

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