Nicholls targets power executives' bonuses

Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls believes Labor is vulnerable on the rising price of electricity.
Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls believes Labor is vulnerable on the rising price of electricity. DARREN ENGLAND

QUEENSLAND Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has vowed a LNP Government would freeze executive bonuses at State Government energy businesses until electricity prices decrease to "give families a fair go”.

He said in a statement: "The message is blunt: your bonus will be frozen. That means these executives will not receive their bonus until power prices fall.”

The policy would apply to about the 30 top executives at Powerlink, CS Energy, Stanwell, Energy Queensland, Energex and Ergon. Mr Nicholls said under the Palaszczuk Government wholesale power prices had risen 70%.

"Under the LNP, power company executives will have to earn their money - and that means freezing their bonus payments for as long as everyday Queenslanders continue to suffer from soaring power bills, he added.

Mr Nicholls accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of continuing to use electricity as a secret tax on Queenslanders.

"Labor's ripped out 100% dividends from the government's energy businesses as well as loaded them with $5 billion of debt - and allowed government-owned generator Stanwell Corporation to price gouge and drive up electricity prices,” he said.

"Meanwhile, the bonuses and remuneration of executives at the government-owned energy businesses have kept on climbing with the total remuneration of some executives doubling in the past 10 years.

"Under Annastacia Palaszczuk's watch, some government energy company executives now earn over $900,000 a year and receive bonuses of more than $100,000.”    

LNP Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said the LNP had successfully used a similar policy when in government.

"In 2012, the LNP froze executive bonuses at Queensland Rail until train service reliability improved,” Mr Hart said.

"This saw Queensland Rail go from the worst to the best on-time running in Australia - a record now sadly destroyed by Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor.”

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