Weatherill’s billion dollar bungle

Jay Weatherill’s refusal to provide just $24 million to keep the Northern Power Station open is the most economically damaging decision by a State Government since the collapse of the State Bank.

“Jay Weatherill’s decision to force the Northern Power Station to close will cost South Australian households well over a billion dollars in increased electricity bills and higher taxes,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Had Jay Weatherill put just $24 million on the table, South Australian household’s annual electricity bills would be hundreds of dollars cheaper and there would be no need for his $550 million patch-up job.”

A leaked copy of a letter from Alinta to the Weatherill Government reveals an offer to keep the Northern Power Station operating for three years in return for State Government support of just $24 million.

“Jay Weatherill’s obsession with wind power drove cheap baseload power out of South Australia forcing up the price of electricity, destabilising the grid and plunging South Australia into repeated blackouts,” said Steven Marshall.

“After the Northern Power Station closed the average South Australian household copped a 10 per cent increase in their electricity bills and the entire state was plunged into darkness.

“The fact it would have cost just $24 million to keep the Northern Power Station open explains why Jay Weatherill has desperately tried to keep this information secret.

“Jay Weatherill has sabotaged the South Australian economy on the altar of green politics for less money than it costs to run his Energy Policy Until for just one year.

“Jay Weatherill callously watched South Australians lose their jobs at Port Augusta and Leigh Creek to tout his green credentials.

“Jay Weatherill’s $550 million patch-up job will deliver less electricity than was lost when the Northern Power Station closed, it will require 200 megawatts of emergency diesel generation just to survive the coming summer and has driven up the base future contract price of electricity by 7.7 per cent.

“This is the most damaging financial decision since the Bannon Labor Government’s State Bank disaster.”