Page 381 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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Friday and they formed the view most of the way through Thursday afternoon that the demand between about 4 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday would exceed the available supply.

This was a combination of two factors. One was that because of the extremely hot conditions affecting large parts of New South Wales and the ACT there would be increased levels of demand, particularly for air conditioning. The second factor was that there was some lack of availability in New South Wales. There was speculation that two coal-fired power stations in New South Wales would not be able to operate at full capacity due to the heat that the state was likely to experience.

MS LEE: In the last week what and where did power outages occur? What was the cause?

MR RATTENBURY: I would have to take the specific details on those on notice. But I can give Ms Lee a broad statement now. My advice is that there were no outages caused by what might be considered a power shortfall, or deemed power shortfall. There were some outages in the Belconnen area last Friday afternoon. They were unrelated to that. I will need to provide members with detailed answers. I will do that as soon as I can.

MR PARTON: Minister, what preventative measures are being considered in the event of a similar situation occurring again this season?

MR RATTENBURY: To my knowledge this is the first time this has ever happened for the ACT, largely driven by broader events in the New South Wales grid. For a couple of reasons I have instructed my directorate to undertake a close evaluation of how last Friday played out. Going back to Ms Lee’s original question, in light of that energy shortfall, we asked the community to consider switching off unnecessary power use to try to avoid that situation where there was an energy shortfall. We need to evaluate how effective that was. There are certainly indications that both in the ACT and across New South Wales, where a similar call was made, the community responded and there was a reduction in demand. That appears to be what ensured there was not a shortfall.

I have asked my directorate to also review the communications side of that. In going to Mr Parton’s question directly, it is likely this will happen again in the future. We are likely to experience more extremely hot days. That is certainly the modelling for the future climate of the ACT and surrounding regions. We need to look very closely at what worked on this occasion, what did not and what protocols we might put in place if this is required again in the future.

Planning—Curtin master plan

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, in relation to the Curtin group centre master plan, which began in early 2015 and had a second round in early 2016, why has it taken so long, and when do you expect the master plan for Curtin to be finalised?

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