Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Regional Energy Supply

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:12): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the Minister for Regional Development on the topic of South Australia's energy in the regions.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: On Thursday 14 September this year, SA Power Networks announced that it had cut the power to parts of regional SA due to high risk fire conditions. As a result, approximately 2,500 properties were without power in areas between Streaky Bay and the Nullarbor for approximately three hours. In November of last year, more than 163,000 South Australians were left without power for days after severe storms. My questions to the minister are:

1. Is the Minister for Regional Development concerned that so many South Australians in regional areas are without power during extreme weather events?

2. Would the minister support putting electricity back into public hands so that South Australians can finally have an electricity network that can actually weather a storm?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:13): I thank the honourable member for his question. I am sure we all agree that we want to have ongoing electricity supplies, but at the same time safety must be first. Everyone is well aware of the issues around bushfires and the tragedies we have had, not just in recent years but over many different years, and therefore decisions that are taken are generally taken with regard to safety around that. In terms of any other specifics, I am happy to refer that to the minister in the other place.