Greens leader calls for state-owned energy retailer

AER

Australian Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale has called for a national publicy-owned electricity retailer.

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Dr Natale announced a plan to establish Power Australia in a bid to increase competition in the National Electricity Market (NEM), drive down prices and support the transition to clean energy.

Dr Natale said a public retailer would provide the competition needed to end price gouging and would kick-start the next wave of renewable generation.

“The time has come for publicly-owned institutions to play a much bigger role in the provision of essential services,” he said.

“We need to put people before profit, and our plan to re-establish a state-owned electricity retailer called Power Australia is going to do exactly that.

“You don’t need to be an expert to see big private companies, whose legal requirement is to maximise their own profits, should not also be handed the responsibility of looking after our health, our education, or even our ability to turn the lights on.

“Quite simply, corporate interests should not be in charge of essential public services.”

Greens MP Adam Bandt said it’s time power was in public hands.

“To end the failed experiment of privatisation, the Greens are building on our policy of re-regulating retail prices, a paler version of which has since been adopted by both parties,” he said.

“Instead of continually hoping super-profit making private corporations will bring down prices of their own free will, it is time to recreate a state-owned retailer required to work in the public interest by delivering an essential service at the lowest possible cost.”