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Queensland government scoffs at calls to privatise electricity assets

The Queensland government is refusing to consider privatisation of electricity asset sales at this time, despite calls from the federal government to do so.

Speaking in Perth on Friday (August 10), energy minister Martin Ferguson claimed that an upcoming white paper would encourage states to sell off their electricity assets in order to combat rising electricity prices.

However Queensland premier Campbell Newman has scoffed at those requests, instead arguing that selling off currently devalued assets such as state-owned coal-fired power stations at this time would result in a loss to the taxpayers of more than $1.5 billion.

"Regardless of today’s grandstanding by federal labor, the Newman government has made it clear that privatisation would not occur without receiving a mandate from voters at an election," said Mr Newman (August 11).

"Just like the Carbon Tax, federal labor has no mandate for privatisation of electricity assets."

Mr Newman argued that while compensation had been given to electricity suppliers to assist with the impact of the carbon tax, no such payouts had been offered to states and that this was what had resulted in massive asset devaluation.

The comments are just the latest chapter in a on-going war of words between state and federal government after Julia Gillard delivered a speech last week claiming that state governments are "increasing their revenue at the expense of the family electricity bill".

Posted by Charlie Moore