The national energy market is failing South Australia and the nation. Our country, with its abundance of solar, wind and gas resources, is now facing an energy crisis. We also have a system that puts profits before people.
While coal-fired power stations across Australia are shutting down, an absence of coherent national energy policy and ideological attacks on the renewable-energy sector have led to under-investment in much-needed new energy sources.
The privatisation of our state’s energy assets has placed an enormous amount of power in the hands of a few energy companies. These factors, together, have led to too little competition in our national energy market. It is a market that benefits the owners of the privatised assets, rather than the people and businesses who depend on this essential service.
Today in South Australia, that all changes. Today the state government unveils a 21st Century energy plan that protects the people. It is an energy plan that delivers more generating capacity, greater competition, increased public ownership of assets, more renewable energy with battery storage, more gas supplies and more job opportunities for South Australians.
It is a plan that gives the state government the legislated power to direct companies to turn on their generators during extreme weather events. South Australia is taking charge of its energy future. Our plan puts South Australians first. Our plan will make our power supply more reliable, put downward pressure on prices and create jobs. In the longer term, South Australia will become more self-reliant for its power supply.
As a state that has built its reputation on its clean green environment, this plan recognises that clean energy is our future. We will now lead Australia’s transformation to the next generation of renewable storage technologies and create an international reputation for high-tech emerging industries. South Australia will take charge to source, generate and control more of its power right here in South Australia.