19 March 2020 – Publicly-owned power companies stop disconnections for families facing COVID-19 related difficulties

Type of Intervention: Advisory, Executive Order, Financial Support, Regulation, Temporary Change
Sectors Involved: Executive Office, Finance/Economy
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change
Level of Jurisdiction: Queensland
Lead People/Agency: JOINT STATEMENT

Queensland Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Overview: Queensland power disconnections stopped to support vulnerable Queenslanders

Ergon and Energex (the two major publicly-owned energy providers in Queensland) are to back off disconnecting power for householders experiencing hardship due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus.

Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the decision by publicly-owned utilities would ensure vulnerable Queenslanders do not face the risk of being left without power.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said discussions were underway in the deregulated south east Queensland market finalising similar arrangements.

With respect to the deregulated south east Queensland market, Dr Lynham said:

“I encourage those affected to reach out to Ergon or your retailer in SEQ [south east Queensland] and work with their staff to outline their circumstances and find a solution”.

“I point out that these measures have been able to be put in place quickly due to Queensland Government ownership of our energy assets.

“Our publicly-owned energy businesses continue to respond to changing advice and requirements. [Dr Lynham].
Full details here: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/3/19/power-disconnections-stopped-to-support-vulnerable-queenslanders

Type of Justification: Considered a necessary escalation of current measures, No justification given
Source of Evidence or Justification: Collective decision and announcement of Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and the Queensland Treasurer