Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the privatisation and deregulation of Australia’s energy industry, and vowed to tip the scales back in favour of the consumer.
In a speech at the Committee for Economic Development’s State of the State 2018 address that marks 100 days to the state election, Mr Andrews emphasised the need to bring energy prices down to support everyday Australians.
“We were promised that a privatised electricity market would lower prices. Wrong. Privatisation has not worked. It has only made things harder for families across Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.
“While the experts will tell us renewable energy will bring the prices down, our opponents promise to scrap Victoria’s renewable energy target, their colleagues in Canberra are little better, promising billions of dollars of taxpayers money to support coal, all while at the same time, requiring and demanding a hands off approach to economic management. It’s hypocrisy at its finest.”
In his speech, Mr Andrews also compared a rise in energy bills to the profits of energy companies.
“While household electricity bills rose by 20 per cent in the last year, AGL pocketed a billion dollar profit, that’s nothing though compared to EnergyAustralia whose profits in fact tripled. You don’t have to be an economist to realise that something is broken.
“Something has got to change, and that will take some big ideas too because the scales need to be reset. Privatisation and deregulation have gone too far. We will tip the scales back in favour of the consumer, not the corporation.”