Hope for the Future: Albanese’s New Power Price-Cutting Plan

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The Prime Minister reassures business leaders that the government is doing everything possible to deliver a solution and highlights collaboration with states.

Anthony Albanese has told business leaders that he is “confident” Premiers of New South Wales and Queensland will assist his government with a plan to reduce power prices for households and businesses.

In a speech to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the prime minister assured listeners that the government is working hard to deliver a solution and stated that they are collaborating with state governments.

“In our first month after being sworn into office, we took urgent action to keep the lights on successfully. Moving forward, I am confident that we will find an agreement amongst state and territory governments that delivers for every part of Australia.” Albanese said Wednesday night.

The Albanese government is considering temporarily capping the wholesale price of coal to provide complete energy price relief to industrial users of gas and households. However, this plan may only be possible if NSW and Queensland cooperate.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, federal energy minister Chris Bowen briefed his colleagues on the proposed intervention for the energy sector, which could include price caps for gas and coal. The Albanese government is confident it can reduce gas prices for industrial users by implementing some regulations. Still, there is concern that a similar intervention in the coal market might be more complex and could open the possibility of legal challenges, given producers will resist.

The states usually initiate federal government interventions in the coal market. Still, gas price relief can be attained by adjusting existing mechanisms, such as the industry code of conduct.

When the public was aware of the events transpiring in Canberra, Queensland’s premier spoke out against Albanese. On Tuesday, she used her state parliament platform to assert that the federal government needed to stay away from our generators.

She proposed that the national government should instead focus on reducing pollution and increasing renewable energy generation.

Albanese has also received no support from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who stated she supported Albanese’s plan but only if there is a consensus amongst Australia’s prime minister and leaders of all other states.

“I think the most important thing is to get agreement from all of the states, and then I will support it, but we are in close talks with the federal government on any national approach,” Berejiklian said Thursday.

Business leaders were hopeful that Albanese would propose a “sensible solution” to the escalating problem.

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