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Far North QLD set for regional power price drop

Regional Queenslanders are tipped to see their biggest power bill cut in a decade, with prices set to fall for a typical household by $75, and small businesses by $116, a year from July 1.


Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the expected price drop complements bill relief already announced.


We know this is a very difficult time for all of those in our community – and this relief will come at a time when families are already doing it tough,” Mr Healy said.


“It is important the community can see we are gradually reducing electricity prices because we are not selling our assets, but instead introducing new and renewable energy sources into the power grid”, he said.


Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the news comes as the COVID-19 emergency continues to affect everyone’s lives.


“This is a small piece of positive news on the horizon for regional Queenslanders and regional businesses.


“Queenslanders already pay the lowest average power prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market because we own our electricity assets – and that’s what the Palaszczuk Government will continue to protect,” Mr Crawford said.


Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui said at a time when those in the Far North need as much reprieve as possible now, the news was highly welcomed in the community.


“Times are tough, especially in the Far North where access to services can already be limited and strains on households can be bigger, but this will be the biggest bill reduction for typical regional households in more than a decade,” Ms Lui said.


Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the forecast fall is in the annual draft determination released today by the independent Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).


“The QCA has flagged 2020-21 regional electricity prices are set to fall for the third year in a row and for the fourth time under this government.


“We understand that Queenslanders now are even more concerned about the cost of living and getting though this unprecedented coronavirus crisis.


The forecast price fall from 1 July next year complements measures already announced.


Under the Palaszczuk Government’s $4 billion COVID-19 relief package announced a week ago, Queensland households will automatically receive $200 rebate off their electricity bill to assist with their household utility costs for electricity and water.

As well, households will receive a further two $50 electricity dividend payments to be delivered over the next two years.


Queensland small businesses will also receive a $500 rebate on their power bill this year.


The rebate will appear on bills in the coming months, depending on individual billing cycles.


Dr Lynham said even in this unfamiliar climate, regional Queenslanders can rest assured that their power bills were going down.


“And if the final QCA decision reflects the draft, regional households will also see a 5.3 per cent drop in their annual power bill in the 2021-2022 financial year and small businesses a 5 per cent drop.”


Dr Lynham said the QCA noted that price drops were largely due to reduced network and wholesale energy costs.


Since 2015, the Queensland Government has been pulling the right policy levers to put downward pressure on power bills,” he said.


The QCA draft determination is open for submissions until 13 May at www.qca.org.au/submissions, with the final determination expected to be released by late June 2020.

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