Media Release from Leader of the Opposition Lia Finocchiaro
Territorians across the Top End have been left frustrated at a mass blackout lasting for almost three hours, revealing the Lawler Labor Government’s glaring failure to ensure the reliability of essential services.
Lawler’s acknowledgment of a “loss of gas supply” at the Channel Island Power Station on Facebook has demonstrated a significant breakdown in infrastructure management and emergency preparedness which was predicted at the June 2023 estimates.
Shadow Minister for Renewables and Energy Joshua Burgoyne raised alarming concerns regarding the future of the Territory’s gas supply, highlighting the ongoing disputes with Eni Energy resulting in inflated costs, and exposing the government’s failure to manage gas supply effectively.
The February 5th 2024 black out impacted 19 suburbs, 20,000 customers, and major roads as traffic lights were left without power.
Labor has been aware of the likelihood of power outages on their watch yet continues to show they have no plan for the future of our energy security.
Today during an interview on Darwin radio, the Chief Minister said, “So we have multiple sources of gas and you know, towards the end of the year and into the future, we hope to be able also to have gas from the Beetaloo as well.”
Yet last Friday, Santos Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher told about 400 guests at an Energy Club lunch in Darwin, “Until we tighten up the [regulations] until approval means approval, it’s very difficult to see [investment]. Would I be throwing a lot of capital into the Beetaloo right now? Not on your Nellie because I don’t know when I’m ever going to get a return on it.”
We know the Labor Party is divided on gas and cancelled their pre-election conference to hide the division on this issue. Labor’s over regulation, delayed approvals, multiple enquiries and a moratorium on gas have all damaged the Northern Territory’s economic reputation as a destination to invest, and jeopardises access to reliable power.
The CLP is unashamedly pro gas, a 50% cleaner energy source than coal and critical in underpinning the transmission to renewables, vital to growing our economy and powering the nation. Labor is till yet to activate unused solar panels connected to the power grid.
Our economic Plan focuses on making the Northern Territory a great place to live, work and invest. The CLP will achieve this with our policy to slash project approval times by 50%, get rid of Labor’s destructive hybrid mining tax and install the Territory Co-ordinator who will ensure projects are fought for, started quickly and completed on time.
By creating a safe and strong environment for business growth and innovation, we aim to enhance competitiveness, attract investment, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all Territorians.