This file photo shows Liddell Power Station (left) and Bayswater Power Station, coal-powered thermal power stations near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, Australia on Nov 2, 2021. (MARK BAKER / AP)
CANBERRA – Australia's Treasurer said on Sunday that he could not say with certainty when the power prices would start to fall.
With the government facing pressure to offer cost of living relief, Jim Chalmers said he would not "put a date" on when Australians could expect power prices to peak but that they would "moderate in time."
The government has flagged it would intervene in the market in a bid to prevent an electricity crisis but has not provided any details on potential measures
According to projections included in the federal budget, which Chalmers handed down on Tuesday night, electricity prices are expected to increase by 56 percent over the next 18 months and gas prices by 44 percent in the same period.
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"We're always recalibrating our expectations for electricity price rises," Chalmers told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV.
The government has flagged it would intervene in the market in a bid to prevent an electricity crisis but has not provided any details on potential measures.
It has tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to review the existing voluntary code of conduct for the gas industry with a view to making it mandatory to drive prices down and guarantee domestic supply.
Chalmers said the government was "considering" whether to include a price cap in the mandatory agreement.
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"We've said that we will make that code of conduct mandatory and we'll make it more focused on meaningful offers and that means going beyond supply and considering issues like price," he said.