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Julia Gillard points the finger at suppliers, state governments

Prime minister Julia Gillard has spoken out against rising electricity prices in Australia, placing the blame on state governments and warning them that action would be taken if prices were not lowered.

Speaking to the Energy Policy Institute of Australia yesterday (August 7), Ms Gillard argued that some state governments which owned electricity assets, such as those in NSW and Queensland, were "increasing their revenue at the expense of the family electricity bill".

She also pointed out that rising network costs were pushing power prices too high for many Australians, and that the current supply network needed to be made less expensive.

"Power bills have become the new petrol prices: not just an essential of life that always seems to be going up, but a vital commodity, where what we consume each day, or pay every quarter, seems far beyond our control," said Ms Gillard.

"Families and pensioners are facing higher prices even when many have been doing the right thing and cutting their use."

Ms Gillard went on to say that, while options like regulation and giving more power to the energy regulators and the ACCC were not ideal options, they would be implemented if required.

The speech is being viewed as an attempt to deflect some of the criticism aimed at Ms Gillard regarding the controversial carbon tax, which was introduced on August 1.

Posted by Charlie Moore