Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 October 2017) . . Page.. 4388 ..
operate because of that excessive heat. In talking about reliability, we should reflect on the fact that it was the coal-fired power stations in New South Wales, driven by issues of excessive heat through that jurisdiction, that actually drove the problem with reliability in the state that day.
It is really important to reflect on this. It is ironic. Those sorts of excessive heat days that we are going to see more frequently in the future because of climate change are driven by coal-fired power. These are the very same power stations that are starting to experience reliability issues because of their age. This becomes an interesting question. We see the Prime Minister positing a new national energy system where he relies on coal-fired power stations for reliability and yet those coal-fired power stations both struggle to operate in the heat and are coming to the natural end of their life.
No investor anywhere on the planet wants to invest in new coal-fired power stations in Australia. So we are getting coal-fired power stations coming to the end of their life. Most of them have around a decade or less left. We have already seen Hazelwood close, not because of any action by environmental activists, ironically, but because the French owner was not prepared to invest in the future of that coal-fired power station. It was too expensive and not worth the financial return to make that investment.
Ms Lee also expressed reservations about this summer. I am pleased to be able to update the Assembly that when AEMO released its forecasts for this summer, the ACT was not on the list of jurisdictions it is concerned about in terms of energy reliability. I am happy to provide copies of that report to members, but it is publicly available. The ACT was not one of the jurisdictions for which the national energy market operator expressed concerns. I answered in question time that I am preparing a communications strategy because the ACT was caught a little unprepared last year. I am determined that we will not be and I want to make sure that, if we have to make that call to the community again, we are extremely well placed and our communications are clear and effective. That is about preparing for future risks.
I think there is a very serious debate to be had about reliability. I do not think the federal government is delivering what we need when it comes to ensuring reliability and the future of the grid. Their package seeks to undermine renewables. We know it does that because Tony Abbott and his mates were cheering after the Liberals’ party room was briefed on this package last week. They were stoked with the new package. That tells us everything we need to know about it. The dinosaurs have won the debate in the Liberals’ party room. It is now going to be up to the states and territories to fix the mess that Josh Frydenberg and Malcolm Turnbull presented last week, because that eight-page piece of fluff is not good enough when it comes to the future energy grid for Australia. I commend Mr Steel for his motion today and I am pleased to support it.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (6.15): I thank Mr Steel for bringing this motion forward today, as Canberra has a proud history of innovation in renewable energy. The initiatives detailed in Mr Steel’s motion will contribute to our maintaining that national and international leadership. While the commonwealth