The Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO) annual electricity supply forecast report should be concerning for all Victorians and a wake-up call for the Andrews State Government.
The report notes that Victoria is at an even greater risk of power blackouts this summer, which is an incredulous situation for our State to be in.
Last year and for the very first time Victoria was a net importer of electricity, which eventuated in load shedding occurring across the State and to a number of businesses and households.
“The State Government were warned that should Hazelwood Power Station close prematurely then we would be faced with significant job losses, higher electricity prices and threat to security to supply” said Mr Northe.
All these scenarios have eventuated despite the Government claiming otherwise.
Comments attributable to State Government Ministers blaming Latrobe Valley Power Stations for this debacle can only be described as bizarre.
“The Government is on the one hand happy to blame Latrobe Valley generators for this crisis, yet on the other hand they are happy to receive an extra $252 million in increased taxes which they applied just two years ago” said Mr Northe.
And it was the State Government that did nothing to keep Hazelwood Power Station open until replacement generation was in place.
Many believe that a modern High Efficiency Low Emission power station should have been planned for and ready to replace some of the generation capacity of Hazelwood Power Station and eventually
Yallourn Power Station when it closes, yet the Government ignores such an option.
“The reality of this whole debacle is that failed Government policy has led to the loss of hundreds of jobs in the Latrobe Valley, electricity prices increasing markedly, security of supply continually under threat, businesses being paid tens of millions of dollars to shut down their operations at peak times, households and businesses having their electricity taken offline at peak times and diesel generators having to be installed as a back-up” Mr Northe said.
“Instead of the Minister for Energy criticising Latrobe Valley generators and their employees and contractors who work damn hard to keep the lights on for the majority of Victorians, she should look in the mirror about her own Governments failed policy’s and not plead ignorance to the warnings that were issued when Hazelwood was allowed to close prematurely” Mr Northe concluded.