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  • Dale Last

Regional Qld slugged again

Despite the national energy regulator promising increased pressure on protecting consumers, Member for Burdekin Dale Last fears it won’t be enough to ensure regional customers can afford to keep the lights on in their own homes.

Following the release of the Australian Energy Regulator’s draft decision on electricity prices this week, it was revealed that Queenslanders unable to shop around will foot a $53 increase within months. Mr Last said the draft decision was another kick in the guts for regional customers at the mercy of a monopoly energy market.

“Once again we face another report which says that if you are living in regional Queensland you’ll be worse off when it comes to paying your energy bill while the state government lines its coffers,” Mr Last said.

“The fact that a report by Energy Queensland found more than 50 per cent of customers were concerned they would not be able to pay their upcoming power bill should be ringing alarm bells not only with regulators but the Minister.”

“For years we’ve seen promises of rebates and cheaper electricity only to find when the bill arrives that those rebates, concessions and promises are sucked up by the soaring prices we are left to pay.”

Mr Last said with the Queensland Competition Authority also due to release its decision in the coming months there is little hope for a reprieve in power costs on the horizon.

“Queensland is set to be the only state that will see prices rise in this nation and with everyone feeling the pressures of costs of living right now and a large portion of energy consumers already putting their hands up to say they are struggling, it makes you wonder what it will take for this state government to take real action on power prices,” Mr Last said.

“If the labor state government was serious about addressing the cost of living, especially in rural and regional Queensland it would start by addressing the monopoly market that we face when it comes to energy.”

“It’s not enough to offer pittance rebates which are later absorbed by price rises and it's about time this Labor Government realised just how much consumers are hurting.”

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