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Jay Weatherill’s state-first energy plan burns off a decade of pointless power-play

Mark Kenny reports in the Brisbane Times (14.3.17) on South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill’s $500M plan to build a new gas-fired power plant and Australia’s largest battery as it attempts to secure the state’s energy supplies, in a move which could have implications for electricity markets in other states.

‘Forced to act by catastrophic blackouts eliciting little more than ridicule from the federal sphere, the South Australian Labor premier has cast off the threadbare fabric of Australia’s patchy national energy nework.

‘While important questions remain, Jay Weatherill’s state-first formula lights the way toward decisive leadership in a space most known for policy indolence at the national level.

‘Weatherill’s “dramatic intervention” has turned two decades of privatisation on its head.

‘He positions his response on the low plinth of lived reality rather than the high plain of idealism. It is both radical in the government versus market sense, and yet conservative from a practical outcome perspective. It takes literally Turnbull’s own axiom that energy security is among the most primary responsibilities of government.’

Coalition says South Australia trying to ‘rip up’ the national electricity agreement

Gabrielle Chan reports in The Guardian (14.3.17) on Federal government claims that Jay Weatherill’s South Australian government wants a ‘much lower threshold’ to intervene in the national electricity market.

‘The South Australian government’s plan to direct energy market operators on gas supply and intervene with the national regulator during periods of high demand could be in contravention of the national electricity market.

‘The federal government is taking advice on the SA Labor government’s plans, announced on Tuesday, to address the state’s ongoing power outages.

‘The state’s policy includes new state ministerial powers to direct a proportion of power sold by retailers that is generated from within South Australia.’

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