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Electricity: Abandon Market Model

Abandon Market Model

The Government should abandon the market model and integrate electricity generation and supply under public ownership and community control, the Alliance says.

Spokesperson Jill Ovens says the Alliance is launching a petition calling for the removal of market mechanisms from the provision and supply of electricity.

"We want the Government to take responsibility for long-term planning of electricity generation and supply in the public interest and a democratic process to ensure accountability.

"We also want the Government to make a genuine commitment to sustainable energy alternatives, including small-scale options."

She says the Government's solution to levy consumers for reserve capacity to cope with dry years, and to allow lines companies to contract for that using their substantial profits, demonstrates a misguided commitment to the market model.

"Electricity should be provided as an essential service, not as a commodity to generate profits for private companies or for the Government," she says.

"It is a nonsense that the Government can't use dividends from State-owned companies to pay for reserve electricity. Until that's been provided for, there is no 'dividend'. It's part of the cost of electricity provision."

Ms Ovens says the theory of an electricity "market" is not based on reality, as recent events have proven.

"The 'market' cannot operate in the public interest without Government intervention. That's because electricity companies operate in their own interest with profit as their driving force.

"The Government is not rejecting this basic ideology. And it's the small consumers who will pay with higher electricity bills."

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