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Blackout inquiry must be broad and independent

The State Liberals are concerned that the government inquiry into the state-wide blackout that occurred last week will only deal with the emergency response and will not adequately deal with fundamental questions about South Australia’s fragile electricity system.

Immediately after the state-wide blackout State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall called for an independent inquiry while Premier Weatherill claimed the system had worked the way it was supposed to.

 “The inquiry announced today is too narrow and will fail to address the critical questions being asked by many South Australians,” said Shadow Minister for Employment Corey Wingard.

 “This inquiry needs to be a genuine independent inquiry – not the Weatherill Labor Government covering their backsides.

 “We need to get to the bottom of what happened last week.

 “South Australians were put in danger when the state-wide blackout occurred.

 “Employers across the state have experienced massive loss as a result of the power going out and some of the state’s largest employers are still without enough power to operate.” 

The ‘independent’ inquiry should include the following terms of reference:

-       Why did a transmission/frequency event in one part of South Australia result in a state-wide blackout and how can this be      avoided in the future?

-       Is there enough system re-start capability in the SA market?

-       Why did it take so long for power to be switched back on?

-       Has the proliferation of intermittent generation in South Australia put the state’s electricity network at risk?

-       Did the State Government adequately assess warnings regarding system unreliability?

-       Why are South Australians paying the highest electricity prices in the nation for a network that failed?