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PM promises to take action on power prices during visit to Sunshine Coast

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Households struggling with rising power bills will have relief, with the prime minister promising to crack down on energy companies that don’t pass on massive profits to customers.

Anthony Albanese, who is on the Sunshine Coast, said his government was working towards a solution for Australians with the power companies.

But that doesn’t mean he’s not prepared to take action against unfair behaviour.

“We know there has been substantial increases in profits at the same time as families and businesses are hurting from the increased charges and that is why we want to work for a solution as a matter of priority,” he told reporters while visiting Goodstart Early Learning Centre in Baringa.

“We want this to be co-operative but that shouldn’t be read as (though) we’re not prepared to take action if the energy suppliers are not prepared to co-operate here.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with the youngsters at Baringa. Picture: AAP Image.

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Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the government was only offering “thought-bubbles” while families were hurting.

A Greens proposal to save households more than $700 on their electricity bills has been rejected by Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.

Modelling for the Greens carried out by the Parliamentary Budget Office has shown a windfall tax on coal and gas companies would allow for electricity bills to be frozen for two years at pre-Ukraine invasion costs.

But Mr Marles said he didn’t think the Greens’ plan would drive down power prices beyond gas.

He said the government was pushing forward to get renewable energy sources into the grid which would be the cheapest form of power in the future.

“We’re not pretending that’s going to happen overnight but we are working on this in the short-term, the medium-term and in the long-term to make sure we get an answer,” Mr Marles told ABC radio on Friday.

Picture: Shutterstock.

Meanwhile, the prime minister was at Goodstart Early Learning Centre to talk about the government’s commitment to childcare and  learning.

“Early learning is so important for children,” he said.

“We know that 90 per cent of human brain development occurs in the first five years.

“But investment in childcare isn’t just about assisting the young Australians themselves, it’s also good for our economy.

“It boosts productivity and it boosts workforce participation. It is economic reform that is absolutely vital.

“And that’s why we looked at cheaper child care, cheaper medicines, increased support for Paid Parental Leave, increased support for affordable housing, as well as the need to increase wages as a part of our strategy to alleviate the cost of living pressures without putting pressure on inflation.

“Just as an example here, the Treasury estimates that, as a result of our commitment of $4.7 billion over four years, it will add some 1.4 million hour per week in terms of the work force.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with the book the children wrote for him. Picture: AAP.

The children at the learning centre also wrote a book for the prime minister about what they would do if they were prime minister.

“Unfortunately we can’t make ice cream free, or bring back the dinosaurs,” he said in response to their ideas.

“But we can make child care cheaper for more than a million families.”

The prime minister also met some nippers at Maroochydore Beach, ahead of the Queensland Labor conference on Friday night.

“These young people are learning surf skills to keep them safe this summer – and having fun at the same time. Thanks to Surf Life Saving Australia for all that you do,” he said.

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