Local sparkies squeezed out by Labor’s energy monopoly

14 Apr 2016 12:00 AMJohn-Paul Langbroek

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s plan to have a mega energy monopoly compete with Queensland’s electricians shows electrical union bosses are pulling the strings in George Street.

 

  • Labor to create electricity monolith to control jobs like meter box maintenance and solar installations

  • This anti-competitive plan will see the government competing against small family-owned electricians

  • Labor wants to squeeze out electricians at the demands of ETU bosses

 

Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said the crazy plan to create a state-owned electrical business showed how much control ETU fat cats have over a Labor Government that’s frozen at the wheel.

“Labor wants to squeeze out Queensland’s local sparkies to meet the demands of ETU bosses,” Mr Langbroek said.

“It’s really not a surprise with Labor Energy Minister Mark Bailey’s deep roots in the ETU.

“Labor hasn’t properly considered the risks to small business associated with creating such a huge monopoly business.

“Many tradies and small business owners operating in the industry are rightly concerned that their businesses will be affected because of Labor’s poor planning and they deserve answers.”

Shadow Small Business Minister Tim Nicholls said Labor had already been forced to backflip on its election promise to merge other state-owned electricity businesses because of concerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“Every small business in Queensland must be wondering if they are next in line to be forced to compete against a state-owned monolith,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Treasurer Curtis Pitt and his union mates are going back in time to 80 years ago when the government still ran butcher shops – What’s next, state-run fruit shops and petrol stations?

“With seasonally adjusted unemployment rising again this month to 6.1 per cent we don't need jobs in small business attacked by the Palaszczuk Labor Government, especially in regional and rural Queensland.”

Acting Shadow Energy Minister Scott Emerson said Queenslanders would rather have Ergon and Energex run more efficiently and focus on lowering the cost of electricity.

“Surely Energy Minister Mark Bailey’s first priority should be to have the electricity companies getting the basics right, rather than having them branch out into services already provided by electricians,” Mr Emerson said.

“Will we now see Labor direct all government departments to use this government-owned, taxpayer-funded monstrosity putting hundreds of small businesses and the families that run them at risk?”

 

Key facts:

  • Queensland has 10,000 licenced electricians who will be forced to compete with the government

  • Labor had to scrap previous plans to merge other electricity companies due to concerns from the ACCC

  • Small businesses are already doing it tough as Qld unemployment rises again this month to 6.1%

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