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Martin Cameron highlights energy poverty worsened by unreliable supply and neglected transmission from government flawed strategy

Martin Cameron highlights energy poverty due to high costs and unreliable supply. Neglected transmission lines worsen outages. Labor's energy strategy lacks foresight, leading to price hikes and vulnerability.

By news@gippsland - 22nd February 2024 - Back to News

The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, says soaring energy costs and increasingly unreliable supply means many people are now living in "energy poverty". More than half a million Victorians were affected by last week's power outage, but the state government was warned last year that its failure to maintain transmission lines was a major concern for both safety and power reliability.

Over 500,000 Victorians were impacted by recent power outage; government previously warned about neglect of transmission lines jeopardising safety and reliability

Over 500,000 Victorians were impacted by recent power outage; government previously warned about neglect of transmission lines jeopardising safety and reliability

Energy security concerns

Mr Cameron said, "In November, Energy Safe Victoria identified 50 instances of neglect on powerlines. One structure, which was identified as a major safety concern in the report, contributed to the outage last week."

"AEMO also confirmed that Victoria was the worst state in Australia for energy security and predicted that Labor's accelerated closure of Yallourn will only exacerbate the problem. Shutting down our coal-fired power stations and ripping the state off gas without a plan to keep the lights on is a recipe for disaster," he said.

Energy transition concerns

Mr Cameron said Labor's revival of the State Electricity Commission was not a viable solution. "I support a sensible and considered transition to renewables, but Labor's plan is neither sensible nor considered. The SEC will not deliver enough renewable energy to meet demand in time for the accelerated closure of coal-fired power stations."

"Nearly 18 months since the government announced it would revive the SEC, it has done next to nothing to shore-up our energy supply - it has invested in one single project as a minority shareholder when the private sector was already doing the work, without taxpayer funds. Minister for Energy, Lily D'Ambrosio, very proudly but very incorrectly claimed two weeks ago that power prices were going "down, down, down", but they've increased 25% in the past year."

"At one stage during the initial outage on the 13th of February when all four units at Loy Yang A went offline, wholesale power prices soared to a whopping $16,600 per megawatt hour. In comparison, prices were just $60 in Queensland and $300 in New South Wales. For almost a decade now, Labor has mismanaged the grid and failed to ensure resilience of the network, and Victorians are literally paying the price," he said.

Pictures from Energy Safe Victoria Facebook page.


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