Power for People | Queensland Greens

Power for People

It’s pretty simple: we want an energy system run for people, not profit. 

We’re being ripped off

Up to 40% of our power bills are profits made by State government owned energy companies and private corporations. Last financial year the state government made $3 billion from the profits made by state owned energy companies. This money came straight from the pockets of Queensland households. Meanwhile Origin and AGL made $7.2 billion in profits.

The ideology of putting profits and markets before people has failed to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy. Since Labor and the LNP began the era of privatisation, power prices have kept rising while company profits have soared. In the meantime, 21,000 Queensland households had their power cut off last year because they couldn’t pay their bills. That is the second-highest rate of disconnections in Australia.

Our Power for People plan:

The Greens will cut every household’s electricity bill by $600 a year.

money

No Profits

The Greens will transition all government owned energy network and generation corporations towards efficient public authorities. Force energy companies to stop making profits and paying massive dividends and put the $3 billion back into making our bills cheaper.

rollback

Roll Back Labor’s Privatisation

After Labor privatised electricity retail in 2006 prices nearly doubled. The Greens will scrap private electricity retailers and introduce a single public retailer for all Queenslanders.

public ownership

Public Ownership

The Greens will legislate a long-term objective to bring electricity generation under public and community ownership.

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End the Dodgy Market

Crack down on price-gouging by private and public coal and gas generators by changing the rules of the wholesale electricity market.

wind power

Renewable Energy & Jobs

Invest $15 billion over the next 5 years to build publicly-owned clean energy and storage; creating 5,500 jobs every year.

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Affordable, reliable electricity

– enshrine this mission into Energy Queensland’s charter and make the State Energy Minister responsible for retail electricity prices - no more “passing the buck” to regulators or private companies

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Take Back Control

We will take back control from the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Market Commission. This would bring back regulation of energy networks to the State level in order to stop the rip-offs.

$500 of your bill
is an unfair State Government Tax

Unlike other states, Queensland’s power grid (often called the poles and wires) was never privatised. However, all State-owned grid companies are now forced to operate under a corporate, profit-making model with regulations designed to maximise profits. Energy Queensland (formerly Energex and Ergon) and Powerlink make billions of dollars a year by passing on unnecessary costs to Queenslanders.

Last financial year the State Government made $3 billion from profits made by State owned energy companies like Energex, Ergon and Powerlink. This cost every household on average $500 a year. This is an unfair tax levied on Queenslanders because the State Government won’t tax big corporations.

Right now this money is coming out of the pockets of the lowest-income Queensland households.

The two old parties rely on this model because property developers and billionaires can afford to pay their fair share, but the two old parties are too afraid to go after their major donors. Throughout the election, the Greens will be releasing a series of major revenue raising measures which target the billionaires and big corporations. They'll include abolishing subsidies for mining companies, and raising taxes on property developers and the big end of town.

Scrap Private Retailers

For South East Queensland:

Under our plan, most customers in the South East would quickly shift to the new public retailer, Energy Queensland, to take advantage of lower prices. Private retailers like Origin and AGL would then be phased out over two years. 

Our plan would not require government subsidies, since Energy Queensland would offer electricity at “cost-price” instead of making a profit. 

It will hit corporate profits, which is why the big energy retailers will hate it.

For Regional and Rural Queensland:

34% of Queensland customers are outside of the South East, where prices are set by the Queensland Competition Authority to automatically match prices in the South East - privatisation and deregulation in the South East is also hurting regional Queensland by pushing up prices.

Under the Greens’ plan, regional households currently with the publicly-owned Ergon Energy would save on their electicity as prices fall to match those in the South East.

Wind turbine and people in safety gear looking at power network

5,500 Jobs

Large sections of Queensland are currently facing a recession with high unemployment and low wages. Our proposal will create 5,500 full time jobs in design and construction every year for five years. This does not include operation and maintenance jobs, which would be additional.

Unlike private generation projects, these public generators would not be built to make a profit. This will drive down the cost of power even further.

Productive, Debt Funded Infrastructure

A clean energy future must also be a fairer future.

The Greens will build publicly-owned clean energy like wind and solar, and facilitate community-owned clean energy instead of letting the private market take control of our energy system. We will invest $15 billion over the next 5 years in productive, clean energy generation capacity, using debt-funded infrastructure investment and taking advantage of record low interest rates. These productive, publicly owned assets will be able to produce a modest return that will pay off the investment over time.

This plan is not designed to make a profit, meaning prices can be lower. This investment will be supported by the federal Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and direct investment from the Queensland government.

Taking back control of our networks

Regulation of network companies under the National Electricity Market (NEM) is broken. We will take back control from the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Market Commission. This would bring back regulation of energy networks to the State level in order to stop the rip-offs.

There is an urgent need for a public authority to plan investments and coordinate the grid. As well as phasing out and then banning “dividends”, we will take back control from the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Market Commission, bringing back regulation of energy networks to the State level in order to stop the rip-offs in the future.