As published in The Australian online (Politics Now), 16 January 2023
Opposition energy spokesman Ted O’Brien says Australian families and businesses will pick up the bill for the Albanese government’s gas price caps, dubbing the policy an “eleventh-hour, Frankenstein intervention”.
The Australian revealed today that multiple energy retailers across the eastern seaboard have stopped taking new gas customers and others are ramping up their prices as they struggle to secure ongoing supply from producers following the imposition for 12 months of a 12 per gigajoule wholesale price cap in the east coast market.
“It comes as no surprise that the energy market is faltering in response to the not-so invisible hand of Albanese whose hubris has him thinking his will can bend the rules of economics,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Industry experts echoed the Coalition’s concerns late last year that the Albanese Government’s market intervention would have severe unintended consequences, and this is what we’re now seeing.
“Despite Labor’s promise that energy prices would come down by $275, they are expected to rise by more than 63 percent and gas prices by 40 percent over the next two years.
“The only certainty Labor has provided to households and businesses is that prices are to skyrocket even further.”
Two of the east coast’s biggest gas producers – Shell and Woodside – have kept up their month-long suspension on offering new supplies after the government in December capped new contracts for wholesale gas.
Australia’s second-largest energy retailer, AGL, has been unable to secure contract supply of gas for 2023, prompting it to cease taking new commercial and industrial customers, and forcing those whose contracts are expiring on to expensive default tariffs.