Diesel generator push will do little for power reliability over summer

The report today that there may be a need to spend millions on hiring diesel generators is more evidence of the complete failure of Minister Bill Johnston to ensure that WA has a reliable electricity system.

WA Liberal Leader and Shadow Energy Minister, David Honey MLA, said this, along with the recent announcement that the Government is curtailing coal-fired electricity generation because of a coal reserve shortage is a further indictment on the State Government’s energy failures.

Dr Honey said it appears we’re heading into another summer of blackouts due to the WA Labor Government’s lack of preparation.

“The Shepherd report into the 2021 Christmas outages released in March found that ‘additional resource availability and back up generators would not have materially reduced the instance or length of the Christmas period outages’.

“The report also stated that ‘the data shows over a four-year period a materially worsening customer outage experience trend in the CBD and rural areas with flat performance in urban areas’.

“The degradation of our electricity network has occurred entirely under this Labor Government’s watch.

“As we know, the last four years have seen this State Government underspend by $368 million on network infrastructure.

“I have no doubt that has greatly contributed to the issues we’re experiencing today.”

Dr Honey said the State Government has had its head in the sand on energy, with no published plan for the future to improve reliability.

“Instead of bolstering the network for this coming summer, which is seeing no signs of being any easier than the last on Western Australians we see the State Government are short on coal reserves, planning to text people to remind them to keep essential equipment like air conditioners on low and now there’s speculation WA will need to order diesel generators to prevent power shortages.

“Minister Johnston is failing in his portfolio, with Western Australians paying the price,” said Dr Honey.