POWERFUL PLAN: Tarong Power Station.
POWERFUL PLAN: Tarong Power Station. Heath Pukallus

How Stanwell plans to bring power prices down

AUSTRALIA needs stability and certainty in its government if power prices are going to come down.

That is according to Stanwell chief executive officer, Richard Van Breda.

Speaking at a community engagement session this morning, Mr Van Breda said instability and uncertainty in our government took its toll on the energy industry.

"We need policy certainty. It makes it really hard to make investment decisions, because you're looking at 40 to 50 year plans when you're investing in a power station, and it really is tough when the policy settings keep changing," he said.

"After the events of last week, when we thought we had a reasonable energy and environment policy which then resulted in the downfall of another prime minister, it makes things interesting for us."

Mr Van Breda said the Australian public had seen their electricity bills almost double since 2001.

"Certainly, policy uncertainty doesn't help, and when we've had three or four prime ministers kicked out of office on the back of climate and energy policies, it really doesn't help us as an industry," he said.

"What we need it certainty of policy and we need bipartisanship so we can make decisions around investment going forward."

Mr Van Breda said Tarong Power Station last year operated at its highest level since 2008, contributing roughly 85 per cent of Queensland's electricity needs.

He said the company planned to invest around $500,000 between Tarong and Meandu Mine over the next five years.

"That's about keeping the lights on and making sure energy is affordable for the people of QLD and Australia," he said.

"It's a low-cost plant, so the harder it runs, hopefully we can put downward pressure on energy prices."