NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has reaffirmed his commitment to tackling runaway electricity price rises by re-regulating the market, as millions of consumers are being hit with steep power price rises of up to 20 per cent.
Mr Foley addressed the key initiative in his speech at the weekend’s NSW Labor Annual Conference, as households and small businesses brace themselves for average increases of $300 and $900 a year respectively.
The Liberal and National parties broke the promise they made at the 2015 state election that power prices would go down; in fact they fought the Australian Energy Regulator in court so prices would go up on July 1.
Just this week it was revealed that the three companies, which supply power to 90 per cent of the state, are banking hundreds of millions of dollars in profits while more families face having their electricity cut off due to soaring prices.
“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes,” Mr Foley said.
“Families and small businesses are facing record power bills because the government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation.
“We will re-regulate the electricity companies to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.”
Shadow Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Adam Searle added the Liberals and Nationals promised privatisation and deregulation would reduce power bills, but both measures have only driven costs up.
“At every turn, this government has put its own commercial interests ahead of the community’s interests,” he said.
“When markets fail to deliver fair outcomes, people expect government to step in.
“A Labor Government will ensure NSW families and businesses are properly protected.”