The Palaszczuk Labor Government has squeezed an extra $333m in profits from Queensland electricity customers, according to annual reports released this week.
Labor had budgeted to receive dividends of $1.153 billion from government-owned electricity generators and networks in 2018-2019 – but the reports show it actually netted $1.486 billion.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Labor was using power bills to hit Queenslanders with a secret tax.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is using high electricity bills to siphon off profits to the State Government,” Ms Frecklington said.
“This is a secret tax grab from Labor and it shows how little Annastacia Palaszczuk cares about families and businesses which are struggling to pay their bills.
“Every energy customer in Queensland is paying more to fund Labor’s financial incompetence.
“Instead of ripping off customers like Labor, the LNP will introduce reforms that will drive down the cost of electricity.”
The $1.486 billion in dividends was paid by CS Energy ($165 million), Stanwell Energy ($550 million), Powerlink ($114 million) and Energy Queensland ($657 million).
Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said the LNP would restructure Queensland’s two state-owned generators to create a third company, increasing competition in the sector in a reform that the State Government’s own modelling says will reduce wholesale prices by 8 per cent.
The LNP will also cut the average regional bill by $300 a year by enabling electricity retailers to operate across the entire state – not just the South-East.
“Instead of creaming off more and more profits from energy companies, Labor should be backing serious reforms to give consumers a better deal,” Mr Hart said.
“When it comes to corporate greed, Labor takes some beating.
“The LNP is fighting for a fairer deal for consumers, but Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad are ripping off everyone who pays an electricity bill.”
Links to the annual reports for government-owned energy companies are provided below:
CS Energy - $165 million dividend
Stanwell Energy - $550 million (https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2019/5619T1703.pdf)
Powerlink - $114 million (https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2019/5619T1694.pdf)
Energy Queensland - $657 million (https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2019/5619T1696.pdf)
The 2018 Queensland Budget forecast shows Labor expected to receive dividends of $1.153 billion from government-owned electricity networks and generators: