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No rip-offs from privatised electricity.

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The Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

Federal Member for North Sydney






The Federal Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Joe Hockey, has reassured consume rs that the electricity market will face the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s usual strict monitoring for anti-competitive behaviour after the sale of NSW electricity generators.


The sale of electricity generators has been proposed by the NSW Opposition leader, Mrs Kerry Chikarovski, as a way to retire State debt and fund improved services such as hospitals, schools and police.


‘This ACCC role extends to State electricity under the 1995 Competition Agreements between the States and the Commonwealth,” the Minister said.


“However, this may not be required since a competitive market for electricity has existed on the eastern seaboard since the introduction of the National Electricity Market in 1997.


“Increased competition has seen a major fall in household and business electricity prices.


“Since Victoria began electricity reform, it has cut its debt by two-thirds ($30 billion to $10 billion), slashed State taxes and given electricity consumers considerable price falls of $134 per year per average household and 28 per cent lower prices to average business.


“Consumers have been the real winners of electricity competition and Australia’s efforts to increase export competitiveness.


“Electricity is a major cost of manufacturers, and manufacturers are major employers of Australian workers.


“Australian exports can better compete internationally when the cost of electricity makes the cost of production lower.”


22 March 1999



Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office 02 6277 7230; 041 3 076 213