Saturday, 23 March 2013

Power price rise link to Powerlink

Power price rise link to Powerlink
by Kerry Ladbrook
First published in a condensed version on the Village Green page of The Courier Mail 23rd March 2013 
No wonder Qld has just experienced a 21% RISE IN ELECTRICITY when High Voltage Projects in rural locations that solely benefit privately owned Coal Seam Gas Companies and their shareholders are able to follow a process and have their costs of construction subsidised  by the Tax Payer.  The antiquated Acquisition of Land Act(ALA) 1967 needs a major overhaul. 

POWERLINK QUEENSLAND intends applying for designation as community infrastructure the Wandoan South to Eurombah  and Network extension in North West Surat transmission projects located in the heartland of a newly proposed coal seam gas development between Roma & Wandoan.

Designation will be decided by Minister for Energy & Water Supply Mark McArdle under the ALA.  Mc Ardle details in a letter dated 25th October   “I note the planned expansion of the network will not only meet the electricity requirements of the CSG-LNG projects and mines in the region, but will also reinforce and improve supply to nearby townships”.

The only problem with this Mark, is that these projects are in the middle of nowhere where there are no towns and no community infrastructure.  Powerlink Queensland has advised no landholder can connect into these high voltage lines.

If it was true that the proposed transmission lines between Wandoan & Injune were for community infrastructure as Powerlink has asked the Minister to designate them; then there would exist a situation as ridiculous as depicted in this John Spooner cartoon.
The transmission lines are for providing electricity to coal seam gas projects, not the community


This will be the start of many such infrastructure projects across the state all for the benefit of private coal seam gas or mining companies. 

Rural Queenslanders are Angry.

Landholders are not given any input into the proposed study corridors for these projects before they are designed.  These are massive projects to provide electricity to each and every gas well that ORIGIN and SANTOS  will have operational and we believe it should come under Coal Seam Gas Rules and not the very ineffective and out of date land act  that has  ANGERED  landholders threatened  by readily available Power of Entry Notices to gain access, private land accessed without permission by Powerlink and Environmental staff, inadequate consultation in regard to transmission lines & substations, poor weed washdown procedures and no compensation detailed.

Powerlink staff can waste time with personal leave but will rush  the consultation process in order to have an equally rushed environmental investigation which does not respect landholders businesses, location of protected flora & fauna , fire impacts, overgrazing,  devaluation, helicopter mustering, no payment for our time, legal consultation and accountancy.   

If these Projects are privatised, then essential services can be retained.  This will help ALL QUEENSLANDERS  save money  and retain the services they need.  Please support our e-petition (can be under 18)and sign on the attached link, so this is  addressed by Minister Mark McArdle.  




  1. The 21% electricity price rise was recommended by the Qld Competition Authority and hit the news towards the end of February as reported in this Courier Mail article.

    These prices rises were predicted 18 months before hand by the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) in a submission to the Australian Energy Regulator on Powerlink’s Regulatory Proposal 2012-2017.

    EUAA predicted significant rises in the price of electricity in Qld as can be read in the conclusion on page 15. On the previous page they give one reason why, Cost of Debt.

    EUAA also counselled against Powerlink’s involvement with coal seam gas projects as can be seen in quotes that I will give in a following comment.

  2. Con. EUAA submission

    The EUAA not only states that Powerlink supplying electricity to coal seam gas projects would contribute to electricity prices, they also state a strong belief that it would be cheaper for coal seam gas companies to self-generate electricity from the CSG they are extracting.

    On page 11
    “We note that Powerlink has proposed some large capital expenditure that is project related, eg work to augment the transmission network to meet expected growth in demand due to coal-seam gas and coal projects. Powerlink believe that the projects on which this expenditure is based are very likely to go ahead. We are not in a position to comment on the specifics of these projects or to assess the likelihood of them proceeding and we would certainly not wish to see outcomes that interfere with such projects which are important to the Queensland economy. However, we would make the following points in relation to this:
    We are under the impression that coal-seam gas projects can self-generate electricity from the gas which they produce and that it is generally accepted that this is more economic that connection to the grid. If this is so, it is difficult to understand why the proponents are seeking grid connection? We would urge the AER to thorough investigate this to ensure that the associated capex is necessary and likely to go ahead. It would also be worth examining the connection arrangements, capital contribution arrangements and shared network arrangements.
    Powerlink have said that the grid backbone extensions associated with some of these projects will not result in higher TUoS charges and even result in lower charges compared to the alternative. We would urge the AER to carefully consider this so as to ensure it veracity and that efficient and cost reflective transmission charges result. ”


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