McArdle announces electricity price review panel

A new panel aims to make qld electricity prices cheaper  16000646 800480332 0 0 14035136 300

The Queensland government is taking action in an attempt to halt rising electricity prices in the  state.

"The time has now come where we are looking at increasing our power prices year-after-year. We have to understand why this is taking place, but more importantly put in place plans to make certain it doesn't go on," said energy minister Mark McArdle, in an interview with Brisbane AM radio station 4BC .

An independent panel of experts has been formed, consisting of former chief executive of Ergon Energy, Tony Bellas, Matt Rennie of Ernst and Young, and mining consultant Alec Faulkne.

McArdle says the main objective of the panel will be to judge spending and make sure money has not been wasted by power companies.

"Everything, from corporate structures, executive numbers, down to the cost of wires and power poles and other matters that drive prices will come under the microscope," said McArdle, in an address to parliament on May 30.

No options are off the table, says the minister, with the exception of privatisation which has been ruled out, the Brisbane Times reports.

All panel recommendations will be thoroughly considered and assessed in order for the government to make an informed decision about what action to take.

One possibility that has been floated by union officials is the merging of state-owned energy companies Energex and Ergon.

Posted by Charlie Moore