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South Australians can’t trust Tom Koutsantonis

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has been caught out making misleading statements about the Weatherill Labor Government’s payments for wind energy generation.

Last week, Mr Koutsantonis claimed the State Government has not invested a dollar in wind generation:

Presenter: Just very briefly … to what extent are turbines subsidised by the State Government in South Australia?)

Koutsantonis: Not one dollar.

Presenter: Nothing at all.

Koutsantonis: No. The people subsidising wind turbines are the Commonwealth Government. (891ABC, 18/07/2016)

Today it was revealed the Weatherill Labor Government has provided wind generators with Payroll Tax relief but was unable to confirm how much this had cost the State Government.

“Treasurer Koutsantonis must now explain how much payroll tax relief has been provided to wind generators,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“South Australia is facing a growing electricity crisis with households and businesses paying skyrocketing prices because of the Weatherill Labor Government’s failed energy policies.”

In the recent State Budget, the Weatherill Labor Government cut the budget for its Energy Policy and Programs.

“It takes a special degree of incompetence to cut the unit that is established to ‘provide policy advice and coordination of energy market reforms, including national market reforms’, during the period an electricity crisis is developing,” said Mr Marshall.

“In 2015-16 the Weatherill Government cut expenditure on the unit by $1.9 million despite the closure of the Port Augusta power stations and a sharp increase in forward contract prices for electricity.

“I think South Australians would have preferred that this money be paid to maintain this unit, rather than being paid to wind generation providers.”