The State Government should establish a commission of inquiry into reviving ETSA and returning power to public hands in an effort to curb soaring energy prices, say the SA Greens.
“Earlier this year the Malinauskas Government announced it wouldn’t be progressing with the commission of inquiry into taking back public ownership of SA’s trains and trams. It should instead direct that money into a new inquiry to examine how it can restore ETSA and take back control of our state’s power network,” said Greens SA Energy Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.
“Privatisation has failed South Australians and led to skyrocketing prices. A commission of inquiry could examine how to re-establish ETSA as a publicly owned statutory authority that could operate for the benefit of consumers, not shareholders.
With so many South Australians struggling with the rising cost of living, any increase in energy prices will hit hard so its vital the Government takes action now.”
Additionally, in its first budget, the Malinauskas Government axed a range of solar and battery storage subsidies. This was short-term thinking during these climate and cost of living crises.
“The Government should restore these to provide relief to consumers.”
The Greens also supported calls from SACOSS to increase funding for energy concessions.
Mr Simms plans to move a motion calling for the Government to establish the commission of inquiry in State Parliament next week (text below).
Notice of Motion
On Wednesday 2 November
The Hon. R. A. Simms to move that this council –
1. Notes that the Commonwealth Budget released last week forecast:
1. A 56% increase in electricity prices over the next 18 months; and
2. A 44% increase in gas prices over the next 18 months;
3. Notes that Adelaide recorded the highest quarterly rise in CPI in the country with a 2.6% rise for the September 2022 quarter and an annual rise of 8.4%;
4. Recognises that cost-of-living pressures are continuing to increase for South Australians;
5. Acknowledges that the privatisation of ETSA was a failure of market regulation and contributed to an increase in electricity prices;
6. Calls on the Malinauskas Government to establish a commission of inquiry to examine reviving ETSA and returning South Australia’s electricity distribution and transmission network to public ownership.