Write to O'Dowd about Ergon's 'monopoly' electricity prices

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd wants residents concerned about the cost of electricity to write to him, so he can advocate on their behalf. 

It's in a bid to get the Queensland Government to listen to dissatisfied residents about the rising cost of electricity. 

He said that Ergon is using its monopoly status to determine the price Queenslanders pay for electricity, a situation which cannot last.

"Ergon is a Queensland Government owned enterprise that has a monopoly on electricity, so they can charge whatever they want and have in fact raised household electricity prices by 93 per cent since 2009," he said.

"Only the state government can step in to prevent Ergon from taking advantage of hard-working residents and they need to get the message that Queensland is doing it tough."

Mr O'Dowd said the Labor Government of Anastasia Palaszczuk argued during the state election campaign in January that keeping electricity assets in public ownership will benefit the community, but is at a loss to explain how current power prices are benefitting Queenslanders.

"Industries in Central Queensland, like hotels, irrigators, coal storage facilities, citrus farms and many others are being hurt by exorbitant power prices, and Premier Palaszczuk needs to address this issue or her government will be exposed as not caring about the basic needs of Queenslanders," Mr O'Dowd said.

Ergon's annual report, released this week, revealed the state government has extracted $1.9 billion in dividends from the state electricity provider, which Mr O'Dowd believes is proof the state government has implemented a "secret tax".

"This phenomenal extraction from Ergon's dividends shows the Queensland Labor Government is taxing by stealth, and this approach will drive up electricity prices even further," Mr O'Dowd said.

"It is bizarre that the state government has also announced a review into how electricity prices can be lowered when they could do it themselves…it just makes no sense."

The Member for Flynn is calling on members of the public who are concerned about the cost of electricity to write to him so that he can advocate on behalf of the community for the state government to rein in electricity prices.

Mr O'Dowd can be contacted at ken.o'dowd.mp@aph.gov.au.