Permanent ‘price capping’: Stronger action needed to stop soaring electricity costs

May 29, 2023

“Price caps, but better” – Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter is urging the Albanese government to make its resource price caps more effective by immediately introducing a Reserve Resource Policy (RRP) which provides a fixed price and supply for coal and gas.

Mr Katter said every time the energy regulator or market operator warned of electricity price increases, the Treasurer had been quick to remind Australians “it could have been much worse” but for his government’s price caps on coal and gas. [1]

“Statements made by the Treasurer that it ‘could be much worse’ are a slap in the face for everyday families struggling to afford the astronomical increases in electricity price,” he said.

“I for one can see no reason to celebrate a price increase of 21 per cent which the Australian Energy Regulator is forecasting. Yet we have the Treasurer boasting about the price caps government has introduced has kept the bills lower than what they would have been.”

“If price caps have been so useful then – Why are prices not being capped further? Why aren’t these measures being instated permanently? Why isn’t government simply fixing a price that is fair and reasonable?”

Responding to the Australian Energy Regulator’s statement on Thursday that electricity prices would rise by at least 21 per cent from July, the Treasurer again told media that market intervention “had kept bills lower than they otherwise would have been.”

“Australia is a resource rich country. Many multinational companies, and the federal and state governments make significant incomes from our coal and gas reserves. We need, rather, we demand a Reserve Resource Policy that provides everyday families with affordable and reliable electricity, from resources that belong to this nation.”

[1]QLD power bill price rise: Prices to go up from July more than expected, final decision AER | The Courier Mail