Power shortage predicted in Gippsland South
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, says a report released by Deloitte Access Economics confirms Victoria may face blackouts this summer as a direct result of the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station.
As the first summer without Hazelwood approaches, the report predicts Victoria will not be able to generate enough baseload energy to keep the lights on during peak demand in the summer period.
“This report just reaffirms what we’ve always said, that we couldn’t afford to have the shutdown of Hazelwood Power Station, which was basically forced by the Andrews’s Labor Government.
“It will leave Gippsland, and indeed all of Victoria, vulnerable in periods of high demand, particularly if we get a heatwave right across the south eastern part of the country. Intermittent renewable energy has its place in our future energy mix but we need a reliable source of baseload power.”
Mr O’Brien said Gippsland South residents can expect decreased reliability with increased energy prices under Labor.
“Average wholesale energy prices have risen 300 per cent in the last six months and many regional businesses are facing staff cuts or even closure because energy costs have become unsustainable.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s $252 million coal tax increase helped drive Hazelwood out of business and none of Labor’s policies will increase baseload power or make energy more affordable.
“The Andrew’s Labor Government has done everything it possibly could, including raising taxes on generators, to shut Hazelwood Power Station.
“It was the Labor Government’s policy and now Victorians will pay the consequences when demand peaks as we will be relying on other states to supply our energy needs.
“Given our vast reserves of brown coal in Gippsland, that’s just a ridiculous situation,” Mr O’Brien concluded.