RAIL STATION: The Bundaberg Railway Station. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
RAIL STATION: The Bundaberg Railway Station. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Union’s claim leasing not only power option

THE Electrical Trades Union says the same funds keeping regional power prices on par with metropolitan prices can be used to drop charges without leasing the companies.

The Queensland Government on Monday unveiled an online calculator to show how much people could save over five years on their power bills if their asset leasing policy was adopted after next year's election.

The government announced at the weekend it would spend $3.4 billion from the lease of government electricity and port assets to reduce the cost of electricity.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the "typical Queensland household" would save $577 on their power bills under the scheme.

But ETU state secretary Peter Simpson said a union report showed the government could provide price relief through the electricity companies' dividends.

The dividends currently pay for the solar benefits scheme and the universal tariff policy which keeps regional prices comparable to south-east Queensland.

"That report showed that even after the SBS and the UTP had been paid for, there would be enough left over from dividend payments to provide further relief to the tune of $167 per household in 2015, making a minimum saving to the average Queensland household of $310 per year with that figure projected to increase year on year," he said.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government had already broken promises on electricity prices.

"You cannot trust anything Campbell Newman says in relation to electricity prices," she said.

"People can look at the app, they can look at the calculator, but at the bottom line is this - families are still yet to see their $120 a year reduction that they were promised by this government. It is yet again another broken promise."

Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the Strong Choices Electricity Price Relief plan would not be implemented without a mandate at the next election.

"Now, if given a mandate to act on our Strong Choices lease plan, we will have the funds available to take 6% of retail prices in 2015-16," he said.