The Palaszczuk Government’s decision to merge Energex and Ergon, as Energy Queensland, has slashed the costs of the senior executive by $3.7 million, Energy Minister Mark Bailey said.
“When Tim Nicholls was Treasurer and a Shareholding Minister for Energex and Ergon, the total remuneration costs for the senior management of these Government-Owned Corporations was $7.9 million,” he said.
“As promised, the Palaszczuk Government merged Energex and Ergon under one CEO and re-established their head office in Townsville.
“In 2016-17, the remuneration costs for the senior executives of Energy Queensland were $4.2 million – a 46% decrease.
“No one forgets that Tim Nicholls oversaw a 43% increase in electricity prices – or $436 on bills for the average household, yet the LNP still tries to claim they lowered bills by $120. They simply can’t be trusted.
“The LNP also spent another $100 million of taxpayers’ money preparing assets for sale including our power stations and poles and wires. “
Mr Bailey said the LNP’s plan to freeze the executive bonuses at Queensland’s government energy businesses again shows the LNP’s woeful lack of understanding on energy policy.
“The combination of factors that have led to recent electricity price rises – in particular the lack of national policy certainty and heatwaves – are beyond the influence of individual company senior executives,” he said.
“Even if this policy had an impact on prices, there are around two million electricity accounts in Queensland – this would save people about 1 cent a week on their bills.
“Let’s be clear, Queensland would be in a much worse position and facing higher electricity prices like the rest of the National Electricity Market states under Tim Nicholls’ privatisation plan.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping energy assets in public hands and using dividends to back Queenslanders.
“Dividends from government owned energy companies directly contribute to funding initiatives to stabilise prices and electricity concessions for vulnerable customers.
“Those dividends would have gone interstate or overseas if the LNP had their way and sold off our assets, rather than being reinvested to back Queenslanders.
“That includes the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan which is our comprehensive strategy to ensure Queenslanders will continue to have an affordable, secure and sustainable supply of electricity into the future.”
Mr Bailey said thanks to actions taken by the Palaszczuk Government, Queenslanders have been shielded from the price increases experienced in Southern privatised States.
“In fact Queensland has had the lowest average household increase of any mainland state in the national energy market – 3.3% compared to up to 20% in privatised states,” he said.
The Board of each GOC is accountable for the remuneration arrangements for its company’s senior executive.
The level of remuneration is determined in accordance with the provisions of Guidelines for Executive Remuneration approved by the Shareholding Ministers.
The Government’s expectation is that chief and senior executives are remunerated at no more than the market median for the position’s work value.