Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Energy and Water Supply Minister, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government has already back-tracked on its promise to Queenslanders to cut power prices along with other basic household bills.
Mr Pitt said the LNP had raised expectations before the election that householders across Queensland would save on bills such as electricity, water and car registration.
“But since gaining office in March the Newman Government has broken its word on three key promises affecting the cost of living of Queenslanders,” he said.
“It revised its car rego promise by saying it never included the compulsory third-party insurance component despite the fact the LNP never made that distinction before the election and the fact you cannot register a vehicle without paying CTP.
“The LNP promised Queensland households would save $80 a year on their water bills but after the election Energy and Water Minister, Mark McArdle, broke that promise by saying savings would be restricted to households in South East Queensland.”
Speaking after a Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) workshop in Bundaberg on 2013 power prices, Mr Pitt said LNP promises on power prices were equally worthless.
“Unfortunately Mr McArdle has used the QCA as an excuse to cover his own party’s failure to deliver on its promise on power bills. This is an extremely unfortunate position for the government to place the QCA,” he said.
“The facts are the LNP promised before the March election it would cost nothing to freeze the household Tariff 11 and save households $120 a year, but in the State Budget in September the government allocated $63 million to meet its commitment.
“Under Opposition questioning it was shown more than 1.8 million Queensland customers use Tariff 11. The simple maths proves 1.8 million multiplied by $120 gives a cost of $220 million, not $63 million.
“It is yet another instance of the LNP’s election costings being way off the mark. Using the LNP’s own estimates that it saves $100,000 for every government worker it sacks, the $220 million to meet its election promise will cost 2,200 jobs.
“It proves yet again that the Newman Government’s mass sackings are all about finding funds to meet its election promises and have nothing to do with paying down debt.
“What’s worse is the government has provided $63 million to meet a $220 million commitment which means the Newman Government has delivered its own $157 million financial ‘black hole’.
“These sorts of shortfalls are significant and are taken into account by ratings agencies when they assess our state’s credit rating.
“The LNP government has not only broken its promises on cost of living, it has spent eight months talking down the state’s economy, and has wildly underestimated the cost of its own election promises which is why we have seen so many sackings and frontline service cuts.
“It’s no wonder the state received a credit downgrade after the September Budget,” he said.
Mr Pitt said Mr McArdle should commit to releasing the next secret volume of the Costello Audit if he was genuine in his stated opposition to selling Queensland’s power assets.
“The Labor Party has stated it will not privatise public assets including power generators or other assets such as ‘poles and wires’,” he said. “We heard the anti-privatisation message loud and clear at the last election.
“On the other hand Mr McArdle is trying to pretend he opposes selling off power assets through tactics such as attacking former NSW Premier Nick Greiner for his comments this week on privatisation.
“But if he is genuine, Mr McArdle will commit to release the secret second volume of the Costello Audit and its interim recommendations when it is completed this month.
“Peter Costello has already said the audit team will be examining the future of government-owned corporations including generation and distribution bodies such as CS Energy, Energex, Ergon, Powerlink and Stanwell Corporation.
“The Newman Government is working to the blueprint set down by Mr Costello, so there is no reason to think it won’t be going down the path of privatising the power industry in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.