A POPULAR line of the Prime Minister’s is “we’re going to get this done”, but sometimes achieving the desired outcome is far from easy and, in some cases, impossible.
Yesterday the Prime Minister demanded the states find a solution to stop the escalating price of electricity, arguing it was necessary to take the pressure off household budgets.
Her solution is a threat to unleash market watchdogs with greater powers to enforce changes.
She believes this will drive down prices.
While everyone wants to pay less for electricity and will wish the Prime Minister well in her quest, the reality is that reducing the cost of power will be an outcome hard to achieve.
There are four reasons why we are paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world.
The first is that consumers have been forced to subsidise green schemes, projects and programs, to entice the use of alternative power sources such as solar.
The second is that there has been no process that has ensured electricity providers invest in infrastructure.
The result is a network of poles and wires that requires enormous capital to maintain and upgrade.
The third is that state governments have demanded hefty dividends from electricity providers.
This has impacted on capital expenditure budgets.
The final reason, and the one which the Prime Minister did not acknowledge yesterday, is that the carbon tax has forced up the cost of power.
The states have accused the Prime Minister of hypocrisy and the arguments to-and-fro will continue.
But will the initiatives the Prime Minister is peddling, such as smart meters, signing up to a National Energy Customer Framework and forcing network operators to cut costs, actually result in cheaper power?
Excuse us for being sceptical, but it will take a lot more than that to make power more affordable.