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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7890

Senator FAWCETT (South AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (15:23): I want to record for the chamber the fact that members opposite again today have repeated the claim that the privatisation of networks in South Australia is the cause of higher prices in South Australia. Unfortunately for those opposite, that claim that privatisation has caused the high prices has been shown to be completely false by the report of the ACCC out just in the last week that showed:

The main cause of higher customer bills was the significant increase in network costs for all states other than South Australia.

It goes on to say:

The ACCC estimates that in 2016-17, Queenslanders will be paying the most for their electricity, followed by South Australians …

And they highlight that in Queensland the network is still owned by the government and that the most significant input to the cost to Queenslanders was the network cost. They go on to say:

The closure of large baseload coal generation plants has seen gas-powered generation becoming the marginal source of generation more frequently, particularly in South Australia.

What that means is that, when those peaking plants have to come on in South Australia, the costs go up. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Chisholm, five minutes, thanks.