Anna Bligh has returned from her overseas trip to a new problem facing the state government.
Electricity prices are set to skyrocket by nine percent, but the Premier says its just a case of supply and demand.
Jacqui McWha reports.
[flashvideo file=http://www.qutnews.com/uploads/tv-2010-1/20100507-bligh-back.flv /]
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh touched down in Brisbane this morning after completing her overseas trade mission.
But she flew into another storm. The recent approval of $12-billion in capital works for Energex and Ergon will increase electricity prices by nine per cent this year with more increases to come.
But Premier Bligh says it’s the demand for electricity that is driving up the prices.
Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: “The idea that we can have a big wide network across Queensland coping with extra demand for air conditioners and plasma TV’s without all of us having to make some contribution is simply not feasible.”
To combat the price increase, the Opposition leader is demanding the Premier halt the sell-off of $15-billion in assets.
John-Paul Langbroek, Opposition Leader: “Anna Bligh needs to stop immediately round two of the privatisations that we see are just going to drive up the prices for Queensland’s working families.”
Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: “I share Queenslanders’ concerns about electricity prices.”
The LNP says since the privatisation of Energex and Ergon, Queenslanders have already seen a 50 per cent increase in their electricity bills.
John-Paul Langbroek, Opposition Leader: “The lies that we’ve seen from Anna Bligh that no one will pay more for electricity is evidence in the actual outcome that people will be paying 50 per cent more than they were paying four years ago.”
With electricity prices set to rise, the Queensland Council of Social Services wants the State Government to do more to improve assistance for struggling families.
Jill Lang, QCOSS Director: “It’s a big impost if you put it on top of the cost of rent, the cost of food, the cost of transport it means that people often have trouble paying their bills.”
The Queensland Competition Authority will deliver the final ruling on price increases at the end of the month.
Jacqui McWha, QUT News