Seymour warned to brace for blackouts over summer
16 November 2017
Seymour businesses and households could face power blackouts this summer as a consequence of the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to secure baseload power supplies.
The warning comes after revelations diesel generators are being installed in Victoria because of a predicted shortfall in energy this summer.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said Victoria lost 22 per cent or 1600 megawatts of its energy supplies as a result of the closure of Hazelwood in March this year.
“Before Hazelwood closed, Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told Parliament that power prices would increase by no more than four per cent and there would be no shortfall in energy supplies,” Ms Ryan said.
“That was a complete furphy. Local businesses have reported massive bill increases since Hazelwood closed and we now face the crazy situation where Victoria is installing diesel generators to get us through summer because we don’t have enough baseload energy.
“Not only are diesel generators a worse outcome for the environment, but they will also require half a million litres of diesel each day to operate,” Ms Ryan said.
Greg and Beth Lindner who own Taurus Gourmet Meats in Seymour said even a short blackout would be devastating for their business, resulting in thousands of dollars’ worth of loss.
“Owning a small business competing with the convenience of the supermarkets is unpredictable enough with their buying power and expenses advertising,” Mrs Lindner said.
“Open the door to the rising cost of electricity and finances just got a whole lot tighter.
“Over the past 19 months we have been felt the pinch of electricity price hike from $1800 per month to, $2000 per month, to $2300 per month, to $2500 per month which is also set to rise over the next few months and into the future, due to the closure of the Hazlewood Power Station.
“As a business there is no discount for paying on time, meaning full amount is due by the due date otherwise we run the risk of losing all of our stock.
“No one said operating your own business would be easy, but keeping the lights on and the fridges cold should not be a daily stress of worrying if you are able to pay your electricity bill.”
Ms Ryan said Nationals leader Peter Walsh had raised concerns in Parliament this week about the possibility of a diesel shortage, given Victoria only had about two weeks’ supply on hand at any one time.
“Under questioning Minister D’Ambrosio was unable to say what impact the generators’ consumption of diesel would mean for the availability or price of diesel,” Ms Ryan said.
“These generators will require half a million litres of diesel every day they run. There is a risk that we will experience diesel shortages as a consequence which is a real worry given we are about to head into grain harvest.”