It's predicted Queenslanders will be paying some of the highest electricity prices in the country from July.
It's predicted Queenslanders will be paying some of the highest electricity prices in the country from July.

Qld expected to pay more than the rest for power

A LEADING Australian economist predicts Queenslanders may be paying some of the highest electricity bills in the country from July 1.

University of Queensland economics professor John Foster does not, however, believe selling off the network will save consumers money in the long term.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle has confirmed the LNP Government will seek a mandate at the next election to "sell electricity generation assets and seek private sector investment in the electricity distribution and transmission businesses".

A report last October by lobby group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia found selling the network would reap "between $40 and $48 billion".

IPA also commissioned a report, by Deloittes, which found the average household price of electricity in NSW would fall $256 a year if its networks were privatised.

IPA chief executive Brendan Lyon said the same rules could apply in Queensland.

Electricity prices will rise 13.6%, or $191, for the average household from July 1, with the government backing the Queensland Competition Authority's recommendation for the price increase.

Prof Foster, who is also the leader of the Energy Economics and Management Group, says the Deloittes' study contradicts universal thought, which shows selling of assets does not work in the long term.

"It goes against every bit of evidence. We have been trying to get the report, but they have refused to release it," he said. "Selling off the power grid is very attractive to politicians as it offers a lump sum in the short term."


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