Thursday 14 September 2017
Statement from Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh
The closure of Hazelwood Power Station this year saw the loss of 750 jobs and Victoria’s baseload energy capacity drop by 22 per cent.
Increases to average annual power bills for homes and businesses have been far worse than the Andrews Labor Government predicted.
There are new warnings every week of further power bill pain and blackouts in the summer ahead.
Victoria is a state rich in brown coal and with an envied track record in energy production and innovation so it is staggering we find ourselves in this position in 2017.
Victorian jobs will continue to be at risk if we do not have a reliable affordable and sustainable supply of baseload power for our state. Renewable energy plays a role in that future but the move must be strategically managed to protect Victorian jobs.
The Latrobe Valley’s existing power stations are ageing assets and unless action is taken to replace generation capacity the current energy crisis will only get worse.
In order to secure Victoria’s energy future and drive down household and business energy bills immediate action is needed.
The Victorian Nationals believe the development of a new generation High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) power station is essential for Victoria before another of the current Latrobe Valley generators close.
The Victorian Nationals are committed to working with the Federal Government industry and the Latrobe Valley to ensure the right policy settings and investment certainty are put in place to investigate such a plant.
The Latrobe Valley has powered Victoria for generations and will for generations to come if the right policy settings are put in place to build such a plant. With the development of new generation HELE technology this can be achieved while also meeting realistic carbon reduction targets.
Daniel Andrews may not believe Victorian jobs are worth fighting for but the Victorian Nationals do.