Hazelwood closure price shock

The fact the closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria in March next year will add $150 to annual South Australian household electricity bills is another savage indictment of the incompetence of the Weatherill Government.

When the closure of Hazelwood was announced Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis proclaimed ‘if they close Hazelwood, it’s going to be good for SA’ (Advertiser 26/09/2016) and Premier Jay Weatherill thought ‘Perversely it could have a positive impact for South Australia’ (ABC 3/11/2016)

“Another surge in electricity prices is indeed a perverse outcome for South Australian households and businesses but can hardly be described as a positive,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The collective failure of Jay Weatherill and Tom Koutsantonis has led South Australia into a nightmare scenario where we have the highest priced and least reliable electricity in the country.

“The fact the Premier and Treasurer could be so comprehensively wrong about the impact of the closure of the Hazelwood power station shows they are incapable of cleaning up the mess they have created.

“Jay Weatherill and Tom Koutsantonis stood by and watched the Port Augusta power station close in May resulting in electricity prices for South Australian households jumping by 11 per cent.

“Prices for businesses buying electricity on the spot market for electricity jumped by 90 per cent after the closure of the Northern power station.

“During the last six years electricity imports from Victoria have almost doubled vastly increasing the impact of power costs in Victoria on electricity prices in South Australia.

“The fact South Australian households are now so vulnerable to rising electricity prices in Victoria also illustrates the high cost of Labor’s failure to deliver on its 2002 promise to build interconnector with New South Wales.

“Labor has had 14 years to deliver this critical piece of electricity infrastructure but it still remains nothing more than a promise.

“Labor’s failure to deliver the promised interconnector is just another example of how poorly it has managed South Australia’s energy mix.”