The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) welcomes the suspension of the National Electricity Market (NEM) and calls on Minister for Energy, Mick de Brenni not to return Queensland to the NEM until a full independent review has been completed and all issues are rectified.
The union urges regulatory bodies to take this time, while it’s suspended, to complete a full and comprehensive independent review of the NEM and create a plan to genuinely fix it.
“The NEM is a critically broken system, and is enabling large corporate entities to gain huge profits on a basic human need. It is giving power to conglomerates to essentially exploit every day Australians who just want to be able to keep the lights on without worrying about the skyrocketing costs,” says Divisional State Secretary Peter Ong.
In the meantime, the ETU urges Minister for Energy Mick de Brenni not to return Queensland to the National Energy Market, even in the event the suspension is lifted.
“Queensland has no need to rely on the NEM, we have a strong network of publicly owned energy assets. Let me be clear, there is no limited supply in our state. Withdrawing from the NEM will not affect Queenslanders. We generate our own supply with our state-owned power assets.
“There is no reason for Queensland to re-enter the defective National Electricity Market until an independent review has been undertaken and completed, and all issues have been fully rectified. Our energy sector is not dominated by privateers and profit-driven businesses that value corporate greed over fairness.”
Peter Ong says this also creates the perfect opportunity for Queensland to fast-track manufacturing of state-owned renewable energy assets.
“The industry is changing, there’s no two ways about it. This is a great time for the Queensland government to fast tracking the building of renewable energy storage. The future of Queensland’s energy sector is in publicly-owned renewable energy assets.
The Electrical Trades Union has been campaigning for government investment in a just transition for workers and state-owned renewable energy assets for many years.
“A transition to renewables is inevitable, and the sooner we see government investment in the industry and a plan for workers and communities in gas and coal sectors, the better prepared we will be. “At a time when all eyes are on the energy market, it’s time for Queensland to move to a renewable future,” says Peter Ong.