'Robbing consumers': Pitt slams State Govt power prices
HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has slammed the State Government over energy prices, accusing them of "robbing $1.1 billion" from consumer's pockets in his own electorate.
His speech comes in light of ongoing debates around power prices in Queensland, and is one of the reasons why he resigned from his ministerial role after the LNP's leadership spill last month.
Mr Pitt said he could no longer promise his constituents power price reductions in the wake of the spill.
Speaking in parliament on Monday night, Mr Pitt said the State Government owned every retailer in town north of Gympie.
"They own all of the poles and wires, they own 70 per cent of the generators," Mr Pitt said.
"They should be accountable and responsible for those decisions, they set the price.
"It is not the Federal Government."
Mr Pitt also took aim at the reliance on renewable energy, saying the government should "take those opportunities where the physics and engineering say that it will drive down the price."
"You cannot run this country on an intermittent supply through wind and solar," he said.
"Intermittent wind and solar have their place, and there are lots of places where they will help and reduce the cost, particularly where there is an engagement, for example, with diesel generation, because that is a stored fuel."
But Hinkler's Labor candidate Richard Pascoe said the Coalition had only delivered higher prices to families and businesses over the last five years.
He said Federal Labor would work with the States to implement the recommendations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's inquiry to put downward pressure on power prices.
"This plan includes a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation and rebates of up to $300 for energy efficient air conditioners, washing machines and fridges, and rewards of up to $75 for households and $120 for small businesses in regional Queensland who take up Ergon Energy's monthly billing options," Mr Pascoe said.
"Clearly, Mr Pitt should turn his focus back to the Federal Government realm and start worrying about his party's lack of direction in this area.
"Instead of the $150 a year savings the Coalition promised under their National Energy Guarantee, the party imploded into chaos and un-ceremoniously removed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull."