All essential utilities (electricity, water, gas and NBN) should be owned by the public. Current rules need to change to have a greater focus on the rights of consumers and small businesses.
Examples of what needs to be done:
- There should be an option for all new utility proposals (such as generation and network assets) to be community owned or owned through a co-operative.
- Change the National Electricity Market rules and enhance the power of the Australian Energy Regulator to rein in the wasteful and costly gold-plating of electricity assets that consumers end up paying for. Over time this will have a greater impact on reducing electricity prices than any other single measure.
- Price increases for utility costs should be capped at CPI.