Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd in his Gladstone office on 3 April, 2018.
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd in his Gladstone office on 3 April, 2018. Matt Taylor GLA030418KENO

O'Dowd welcomes damning ACCC report into power prices

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd has welcomed a damning report released yesterday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which accuses governments on both sides of politics of contributing to high electricity costs.

The report marks the conclusion of an ACCC inquiry into high power prices which began in March last year.

ACCC chair Rod Sims did not hold back when it came to attributing blame for the prices the country now faces, saying "poor decisions over at least the past decade" created the affordability problem.

"Regulation and poorly-designed policy have added significant costs to electricity bills... the National Electricity Market is largely broken and needs to be reset," he said.

"It now falls to current Commonwealth and State government to make the difficult decisions to fix it."

The report contains 56 recommendations, including the enforcement of a 'default' price for all retailers to reference when offering discounts.

Notably, it also singles out Queensland's state-owned power generation assets, recommending they be split into three entities and two of those entities be sold off to create more competition.

Mr O'Dowd said the ACCC's recommendations should be taken seriously.

"There's too many fingers in the pie and too-much double-dipping," he said.

"Power prices are still the number one issue people are raising with me.

"I'm also 100 per cent for lifting moratoriums on gas exploration in Victoria and New South Wales."

But he declined to join fellow Central Queensland LNP MPs Michelle Landry and George Christensen in calling for the Government to hold the prospect of a Royal Commission over retailers as a way of forcing prices down.

"We know what the problem is, whey do we need to call for a Royal Commission and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hear what we already know?" he said.

State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington yesterday said the LNP ruled out any of the asset sales recommended in the ACCC report.

She said more competition could be achieved by splitting the generators into three entities, but keeping them in public hands.



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