The State Liberals are demanding the Premier Jay Weatherill reveals what it would have cost to keep the Northern Power Station operating and protect South Australian households from savage price increases in electricity.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show the Weatherill Government received a briefing from the Department of State Development on the benefits of keeping the Northern Power Station open.
“The Premier needs to release that briefing paper immediately and explain why he has been forced into using taxpayers’ money to lure other generators into the South Australian market,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“The Northern Power Station was providing 15 per cent of South Australia’s electricity at a cheaper price than the alternative gas-powered generators.
“The Northern Power Station provided cheap, reliable base load electricity to the South Australian market and was driven out of business by the Weatherill Government’s headlong rush to embrace an over-supply of wind power.
“If Alinta would have continued to operate the Northern Power Station with modest State Government support Jay Weatherill is guilty of driving up the price of electricity in South Australia and putting thousands of jobs at risk.”
Jay Weatherill also need to explain whether his $24 million gas policy announced yesterday is a gas reservation policy: We want that gas to be brought onto the market but we’re going to reserve that gas for specifically South Australians. (Jay Weatherill 5AA 9/9/16)
Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has been vehement in his opposition to a gas reservation policy issuing a media release on the 27th of February 2015 stating:
“No one wins from gas reservation,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“To believe that reserving gas for domestic use will increase production for the local market is just woolly thinking and bad economics.”
“Has the electricity crisis in South Australia forced the Premier to slap down the Treasurer and Energy Minister and institute a gas reservation policy over his objections?” asked Mr Marshall.