Electricity and Gas - Government should control or regulate energy utility industries
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Every Australian has been affected by the recent price rises in energy utilities such as electricity and gas brought about by the big 3 energy providers - namely AGL, Origin and Energy/Australia. Not withstanding a 1st July 2017 price hike by all three near 20% I wonder what the profit margins will be for the next financial year end 2017/2018?
For example for AGL their underlying profit for 2012 was $482 million. In 2013 - $585 million. In 2014 - 562 million. In 2015 - $630 million. In 2016 - a whopping $701 million. Refer AGL 2016 Annual Report * link below. That's an increase of $216 million in 5 years. What do you think AGL profits will be in 2017? Beyond 2020 could see operating profits over $1 billion.
Now it appears that the problem lay with the fact that these energy providers are private companies and are not regulated or capped. Another words they exists to make money and return on shareholder investors. I have no problem with a return of sorts for shareholders but at the expense that is inequitable/unfair/no go for the ordinary Australian? The current situation is out of control and shameful. It advantages some persons at the expense of a nation.
Members of the Australian Federal Government need to step in and quell and/or reduce this trend. The way forward appears to be in one of two ways.
(1) Federal legislation needs to be written or modified to REGULATE or cap these ENERGY UTILITY industries. Ideally no Australian politician should be allowed to have shares in energy utility companies because that creates a conflict of interest.
(2) Federal legislation needs to be written or modified to allow for de-privatisation of energy utility companies and restore control of them to government so that it is operated as a public entity.
Now if not (2) then (1). But not both or none less the situation continue as it has been. I am not saying my views are concrete for there are people in the know who are smarter than me on this topic and what needs to be done. Let this petition be a national impetus for change in this regard.
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