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Anthony Albanese hands list of demands to states ahead of national cabinet

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Anthony Albanese has asked the premiers to use the powers available to them to help drive down energy prices ahead of national cabinet later this week.

A proposal from the Prime Minister and Energy Minister Chris Bowen was reportedly handed to the states late on Tuesday, The Australian reported.

The list of demands included asking NSW and Queensland to impose price caps on coal, rather than the commonwealth, and recall parliaments to enact them.

Mr Bowen, who is set to meet with his state counterparts on Thursday, said the federal government had looked “very carefully” at the options available to them.

“(We‘ve) methodically worked through, come up with options and ideas, which mean that the various jurisdictions use the powers best available to them for the most impact,“ he told ABC’s Radio National.

“There are some areas where the commonwealth clearly has effective powers (and) other areas where the states might have more effective responses available to them, hence we‘ve sat down … to talk those issues through in a very good faith manner.”

But Mr Bowen would not say if the proposal handed to the states overnight included compensation for lost revenue from the price caps, as demanded by Dominic Perrottet and Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Both states have pushed back against implementing a price cap, as profits soar due to the war in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers left the door open to a “responsible” commonwealth contribution.

But Mr Chalmers insisted any response would be temporary to “take some of the sting out of these price rises next year”.

The budget forecast electricity prices to soar by 56 per cent and gas prices by 44 per cent for households over the next two years.

Electricity prices are expected to directly contribute between 0.75 and 1 percentage point to inflation in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

National cabinet was set to meet on Wednesday to discuss energy prices but the talks were delayed to Friday after Mr Albanese tested positive to Covid.

He said the two-day delay would have zero impact on delivering price relief.

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseBrisbane

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