Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bickering Pollies Score Own Coal

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bickering Pollies Score Own Coal

Article excerpt

THE shutting down of coal power plants, rises in gas prices and uncertainty over clean energy policy have made NSW electricity prices some of the most expensive in the world.

Residents experienced the biggest increases in Australia last year, with retail electricity prices jumping more than 13%. In the past five years alone, prices have rocketed more than 20% above the Consumer Price Index, with the average NSW family now being whacked with an annual bill of $2073.

And that pain looks set to increase, as since July 1 households are also being slugged with an extra 19%, or $319.80 on their yearly bill, after price hikes from major retailers.

Our politicians are divided on how to solve the problem. Former PM Tony Abbott and other members of the Liberal's right faction are pushing for more coal power plants with Mr Abbott slamming the proposed Clean Energy Target as a "a tax on coal".

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the target, proposed in a recent report by Australia's chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel, would "not penalise coal". …

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