Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says the electricity market is “broken” as he labelled the current situation as a “national disgrace”.
14th June 2022
By Joseph Huitson, Digital Reporter, Sky News
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says Australia has one of the most destructive energy policies in the world, as fellow Queenslander Amanda Stoker blames “extreme climate ideology” for the failures being experienced across the electricity grid.
Mr Canavan said it was a national disgrace Australians would not be guaranteed electricity as warnings of a lack of reserve were issued in NSW.
“We shouldn’t be in this situation … the national electricity market is broken,” he told Sky News Australia.
“It’s really a state-controlled system now.”
Two Queensland Coalition senators have delivered harsh assessments of the energy crisis being experienced on the nation’s east coast.
It comes after the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued fresh warnings that up to five states could be impacted by blackouts, as the energy crisis worsens.
AEMO has indicated that New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia are facing maximum power load interruptions over the next two days.
It says residents in New South Wales and Queensland are expected to be hit by interruptions from 5:00pm AEST on Tuesday with the other three states potentially impacted from Wednesday night.
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan labelled the crisis a “national embarrassment” as he urged for coal-fired power stations to be built.
“We have one of the most insane, self destructive energy policies in the world,” Mr Canavan told Sky News Australia’s Andrew Bolt.
“We actually sell the coal to a lot of these countries that are building these new coal-fired power stations.
“We are selling our world-best quality coal to fuel these new coal fired power stations, 345 being built, around the world right now, tonight.
“Yet we deny ourselves access to that same resource.”
Mr Canavan’s senate colleague Amanda Stoker – whose seat is under threat as counting continues – echoed similar comments about the use of fossil fuels .
“A diversity of sources for base load energy is vital to making sure all of these renewables in the system work,” she told Sky News Australia.
“We should be having gas and coal and even, dare I say it, opening the door for nuclear energy.”
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said Australians should not be turning off power needed for their comfort and safety but urged residents to consider pulling the plug on anything “not necessary” amid the nation’s energy crisis.
Mr Bowen was pressed on Tuesday about what his message was to Australians who have been asked to conserve energy at the start of winter, amid fears over blackouts along the eastern seaboard.
“Nobody should turn off any power usage that they need, that they’re using for their comfort or their safety. Nobody should do that. Nobody’s asking for that to happen,” he said.
Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker says there may be some “very uncomfortable soul-searching moments” for Australians who “very stridently demanded action on climate change”. “When what they were really doing was putting in place a chain of…’
“There has been a general request to say anything which is surplus. Now I expect most of the things would’ve been turned off already because power bills have been higher, so swimming pool filters and swimming pool heaters, outside lighting which is not necessary at any particular time.
“That sort of thing as a general request for people to be aware that the market is tight and if that could be turned off that would be useful but nobody should turn off any heating or anything which they are using or is necessary.”
To limit the risk of power blackouts, residents are advised to reduce their energy consumption during peak usage hours.
Residents are advised to unplug appliances not in use such as TVs, computers and microwaves, as well as reduce the number of hours they have their heater switched on.
Businesses can also save power by limiting the number of lights used inside and outside venues and by turning off unnecessary water heating systems.