Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Power Move Gets Support; Opposition Vows to Go Further on Introducing Competition to Regions

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Power Move Gets Support; Opposition Vows to Go Further on Introducing Competition to Regions

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Thorpe andrew.thorpe@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE State Opposition has backed the government's move to allow regional electricity customers to switch back to Ergon if they had previously switched to a private company.

The move could make it less daunting for Gladstone customers to try their luck with someone other than Ergon, which dominates the local residential power market.

The move also received support from Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gladstone zone chair Alicia Williams.

"Anything which means healthy competition when it comes to utilities is always welcome," Ms Williams said.

She said the inability of customers to return to Ergon had been particularly problematic when it came to renters.

"That has been an issue for us previously in Gladstone, when a renter moved away and had gone with another provider, then the new one wanted to stay with Ergon," she said.

"Making it reversible would be a very welcome change."

While the Opposition is backing the State Government's move, it promises to go even further with its support for introducing competition to regional markets.

Prices in regional Queensland are currently kept similar to what they are in the state's southeast by a community service obligation, which the State Government pays to Ergon Energy's retail arm. …

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