Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s dismissal of the need to invest in a smarter, modern grid in Victoria is ill-informed and ignores the fact that upgrades are necessary after years of neglect by private operators.
Electrical Trades Union National Secretary Allen Hicks accused Mr Taylor of being reckless with the facts about the need for network upgrades in Victoria, as well as the national grid, to avoid more risks to life, property and the economy.
“The only thing reckless about the proposed upgrades to Victoria’s electrical grid are the anti-renewable energy minister Angus Taylor’s ill-informed comments,” he said.
“After years of neglect by Victoria’s for-profit energy companies, the state’s network needs drastic upgrades to avoid future risks to life, property and the economy.
“Neglecting the electrical grid leads to devastating consequences. The people of Victoria know this, having suffered through the 2009 bushfires that claimed many lives and led to billions in damages.
“The royal commission into the Black Saturday bushfires found the states electrical infrastructure was ageing and that five of the 15 fires were linked to ‘failure of electricity assets’.
“Three of those fires were directly blamed on old assets.
“The grid needs upgrades and for Angus Taylor to say otherwise is being reckless with the truth and people’s lives.”
In addition to the safety matters, Mr Hicks said upgrades to the electrical grid would have economic benefits as a smarter network would create more efficiencies and jobs, leading to lower prices for households.
The Australian Energy Market Operator stated there will be a net benefit of $300 million, which will almost double the initial investment and help to ensure consumers don’t pay more in the long run.
“These upgrades are necessary and will be money well spent, creating jobs, a smarter grid and help to reduce prices,” Mr Hicks said.
“Only the inept Morrison Government and its energy minister, Angus Taylor, would fail to see the benefit of this.
“Angus Taylor has failed to get energy prices down and his reckless comments about a smart investment in a smarter grid only reinforce the fact that he and many of his Liberal Party colleagues are against anything to do with renewable energy.”