ACCC called to check LNP Government over power company mates

THE relationship between the Queensland government and a privately owned power generation company is under question.

The Electrical Trades Union has written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator to renew its calls for a federal inquiry into ownership structures and the relationship between "privately owned peak load stations and the state LNP government".

One of its prime concerns is the relationship between the government and ERM Power, a Brisbane-based company which has grown from its launch in 2008 to be the fourth largest seller of electricity in the national electricity market.

In May 25, 2012, ERM Power donated $16,500 to the LNP. While previously having donated predominantly to the Queensland Labor Party, since 2010 ERM has donated more than $25,000 to the Queensland LNP and $1500 to Queensland Labor.

Five days later, on May 30, Energy Minister Mark McArdle announced Tony Bellas - ERM Power's non-executive chair, and former director - had been appointed as the chair of the government's Independent Review Panel, which had been established to "oversee the reform of power delivery by government-owned electricity entities in Queensland".