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Lacking Energy? It’s Labor’s Fault, Apparently…

Sometimes I wonder why something that I see as a simple idea isn’t being suggested by people in public office. You know, simple things like – given the shortage of workers in some industries – why don’t we double the amount that the unemployed could earn before they lose any of their benefits? It would enable them to take on some of the casual jobs in things like hospitality without the fear that they could suddenly be left high and dry if it didn’t work out. And when I think of ideas like this it worries me that I”m just another Matt “The Black Knight” Canavan who recently tweeted wondering what we’ll do in the future when we don’t have coal-fired power stations to bring back online to save the day, completely overlooking the fact that it’s the coal-fired power stations that aren’t working to capacity owing to the fact that they need maintenance.

Yes, some people are always asking what’s the plan when the sun doesn’t blow and the wind doesn’t shine, but nobody ever asks them what their plan is when coal runs out. It’s a finite resource after all, and sooner or later, it’s going to be all gone and what’s their plan then, eh? Ok, it’s too far in the future and we know their response will be something like: “Well, the sun won’t last forever either and if mankind is using solar, it’ll be in trouble when that happens…”

Lately, as I listen to the news bulletins, one thought repeatedly strikes me:

Couldn’t someone design a system where all the energy providers worked to provide as much energy as cheaply as possible?

Admittedly, it’d have to be centrally coordinated and there’d have to be regulations to stop generators from price-gouging and it would be big and bureaucratic and… there’s the problem. It’s starting to sound all socialist and full of red tape and we all know that privatisation is the way to go because, hey, hasn’t privatisation worked a treat with all the areas where governments have privatised.

I’m trying to think of a specific example here, but I guess my trouble must be that there are so many of them, that I’m finding it hard to focus.

Ah, Qantas. Once it used to be government-owned but now that it’s in private hands, they find your lost luggage much more efficiently because they’ve had so much experience at it…

All right, the Commonwealth Bank… Um, public transport?

Anyway, we know that it must be better because why else would governments keep selling off public assets to their mates?

Whatever the reasons behind the current crisis, I think we can all agree that it’s Labor’s problem and as Karen Andrews said, “And quite frankly, the Labor Government has had nine years in Opposition to prepare for the day that they’d be in government so there’s no excuse!” It’s hard to argue with that. After all, the Liberals have spent the last nine years preparing for the day that they’d be in Opposition by doing nothing but attacking Labor and the Greens, so now that they’ve found the role that Abbott moulded them for, they’re showing that they’re prepared to find a bipartisan solution for just about anything as long as Labor agree to do what they say.

Take nuclear power, for example, which is suddenly the answer. Way back in 2019 when someone mentioned it, the Coalition told everyone that it was just a scare campaign and that they had no intention of doing any such thing. But instead of treating that as a campaign promise and breaking it immediately, it’s now the solution to the energy emergency we face. I can see how it’s meant to work. We use the Scott Morrison strategy of announcing the solution to an immediate problem by telling the public about something that will happen a long time into the future and then brush off all questions about the present with: “We’ve dealt with that and the answer is at the end of the yellow brick road where Jen and I will meet the Wizard and if you just keep following all the words I’m saying which seem to be about what you asked but have absolutely nothing of substance in them and no to the follow-up question because I’ve already dealt with that…”

So I’m waiting for He Who Must Not Be Named to come out and tell us that the Liberals warned us that energy prices would go up under Labor and he warned us that they’d try to avoid a war with China and that the media would start reporting boat arrivals even when they don’t arrive, so we can’t say that we weren’t warned and it’s about time that Labor took some responsibility and realised that they’re the government and that they have to fix up the mess that they’ve created in the three weeks since they were sworn in.

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15 comments

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  1. Mr Bronte ALLAN

    Sadly the fucking lying COALition ALWAYS blame Labor, despite the fact that they had a long time in power to do the “right thing”, & as usual, they did not do any where near enough with anything that they tried to “deal with” (sic)! They under paid all the poor blighters unemployed, did almost nothing about Climate Change ( what is that they asked!), & continued to blame Labor for any wrongs! BASTARDS! Thank goodness sanity & reason has been restored to Australians by the Labor Party! I agree with every thing you mentioned in your excellent article, Rossleigh!

  2. Albos Elbow

    Scummo and the poor COAL-NP ministers were too busy to do anything in the decade they were in power, too busy pulling their pants down, bending over and taking it up the bum from a conga line of corrupt billionaires.

    Then they had to count paper bags full of cash and take it down to the bank to put it in offshore bank accounts.

    When would they ever get the time to run the country?
    That too is Labor’s fault.

  3. New England Cocky

    Here in New England, alternative energy generation is the new BIG ISSUE. We have several large solar projects currently being built but NOT for New England consumption!! Rather, ALL New England electricity generation is being sent down to the Hunter Valley for re-distribution into the National Grid

    ”So, say the city folk, what is wrong with that perfectly sensible proposal?”

    Well, I guess that us country folk generate all the alternative electricity so that the city folk can maintain the lavish electric life styles ….. and re-locating manufacturing into regional Australia is just so inconvenient. I mean where would city workers be without the morning commute across the tollways of Sydney enriching the private consortium bankers that now own the highways and charge like a wounded bull to use them?

    What would the international retail chains do if they had to locate small new stores in regional centres to service the Tree-change generation as they escape the cramped smog filled metropolitan suburbs for the wide open spaces and clean fresh air of regional towns?

    However, there are drawbacks to this popular scenario ….. will the present incompetent uncaring DoPe LIARBRAL NAZIONAL$ MI$GOVERNMENT be able to provide all the essential government services and infrastructure in many regional locations before the voters go to the polls in 2023? Think ….. buying votes with more trained medical staff in hospitals & aged care facilities, sufficient skilled teachers in small town public schools and maintenance of public infrastructure ignored for decades in favour of largess handouts to the COALition donors?

    Now who is voting for a change of NSW government in 2023??

  4. Albos Elbow

    NEC, you can thank “prehistoric” Barnaby and the Queensland Coal Gang, who defied the NSW Energy minister, opposed the solar farm and insisted that the New England area continue to be serviced by coal fired power stations. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/dec/14/nsw-agriculture-minister-calls-barnaby-joyces-opposition-to-new-england-renewable-zone-prehistoric

    This is how fossil fuel corruption worked under a Scummo government.

    Don’t ever vote for that dickhead again, that’ll fix the problem.

  5. GL

    The LNP has the ability to develop party wide selective amnesia within hours after losing an election.

  6. totaram

    GL: They don’t actually develop amnesia. It’s a trick, to befool the ignorant and gullible, who will continue to believe the lies they are told on SkyNews. If they all (the coalition) stick with the talking points and the “narrative”, they may yet fool enough people to turn the perceptions around. Remember the Goebbels mantra. After all, the entire MSM works for them. Somehow, that advantage seems to have been lost recently. Is it the social media, or the plethora of media outlets that let people make up their own minds? I am no expert, but watch this space as things unfold. In the meantime, it is hugely amusing to go to the Sky News videos and read the completely unhinged comments, many of them from people who seem to make a direct analogy with the USA, which has a presidential system of government. Others seem unable to distinguish between state and federal governments. Just the kinds of believers you want!

  7. Peter F

    We should accept that the ALP should have know that the coalition WOULD stuff things up, and started planning on recovery from the disasters which would inevitably follow. It is therefore ABSOLUTELY the ALP’s fault that we we are in the present disaster. In fact, they should have started work even before being elected.

  8. Canguro

    NEC, re your observation…

    ‘…the tollways of Sydney enriching the private consortium bankers that now own the highways and charge like a wounded bull…’

    It’s so true. I spent a couple of years as an external contractor working on the M7 motorway in western Sydney. At one of their social functions, one of their accountants said to me, perhaps unguardedly, that ‘this business is a pure money-making machine.’ It was kind of a gloating comment, a reflection of the success of the business model. No reflection on the costs to the users of the facility, though I’m sure that in line with the general Westlink ethos he would have argued that no one was forced to use the road.

  9. Albos Elbow

    The previous Scummo government deliberately delayed any upgrade to the national electricity grid, to protect fossil fuel billionaires by putting the brakes on the increasing share of renewable energy feeding into Australia’s national energy grid.
    The biggest risks to Australias energy security now is not coal or gas prices, but the Grid Connection Risks.
    https://www.holdingredlich.com/allocating-and-managing-grid-connection-risk

    The quickest way to fix the energy mess is NOT to approve more gas mines, but to upgrade the National Electricity Grid ASAP, so that the many new and existing renewable energy and electricity storage projects can finally be connect to the grid or increase their supply into the grid.

    Hundreds of GW of electricity are ready to be added to Australia’s energy supply but have been waiting on the federal government to upgrade the grid so they can connect to it. The increased supply will not only provide more energy and more security, it will bring down wholesale and retail energy prices for all consumers.

    Exisiting renewable energy projects have had their output throttled by the lack of suitable connection to the grid, some operating as low as 20% or less capacity.
    Many new renewable energy and storage projects are also nearing completion or ready to go and have been sitting there idle, still waiting up to 4 years or more to get connected.

    It will be much quicker and cheaper to upgrade existing links and build new high tech grid connections, rather than waiting a lot longer for gas mines to be built and up and running.

    Australia’s electricity grids are facing a paradigm shift and the stakes are high, along with the extreme costs of getting Australia’s energy systems wrong.

    Instead of fast tracking coal and gas mine approvals, multiple stakeholders involved in electricity production and consumption; renewable energy providers and millions of consumers, not just fossil fuel companies, are impacted by our archaic electricity grids.

    There has never been a more pressing time to streamline the grid upgrade and connection process, working together to address the challenges impeding the continued deployment of large scale renewable energy into the national electricity grids, to provide much more cheaper, reliable energy.

  10. New England Cocky

    @GL: ”The LNP has the ability to develop party wide selective amnesia within hours after losing an election.” So true!!

    This wonderful political ability extends to all unfavourable features of their ”world’s best party” politicians like the adulterous, alcoholic misogynist representative of the Nazional$ in New England, the widely disgusting Barnyard Beetrooter Joke, whose antics were so unpopular with thinking Australian voters that they had the temerity to rise up and sack the unChristian, Buy Your Way to Heaven cult member & his gathering of fellow incompetents ….. in city electorates!!

    The bush telegraph hints at the worrying news that Beetrooter will ”retire” from politics to spend more time with his bit of fluff & two bastards while spending his ill-gotten gains from his two ”grazing” properties in the Pilliga Scrub over CSG deposits thought to be sought by SANTOS, the Australian gas corporation threatening to destroy the water purity of the Great Artesian Basin.

    Another whisper in the trees suggest that the Great White Elephant Project, aka the Northern Inland Railway, will, for the first time, be scrutinised for financial (in)viability …. having wasted the first mere about $700 MILLION of a project guessed to finally cost Australian taxpayers about $14 BILLION to transport CSG for export from the Pilliga Scrub at Narrabri NSW through Port Gladstone Qld ….. rather than supply Australian homes …. and without paying Australian taxation ….. quite legally.

    Funny thing is that when you do NOT have to purchase land for a railway easement the cost comes down significantly. So re-routing the line from Dubbo through an upgraded existing Binnaway line to Werris Creek, then up the existing but renovated Great Northern Railway to Brisbane via Toowoomba or a new line from Tenterfield via Legume and Beaudesert has some merit ….. especially reducing the cost to Australian taxpayers … that is never the concern of the ”born-to-rule” Nazional$.

  11. Fred

    Selling the poles and wires increased the cost of electricity. There are very few examples of where privatisation of government functions has led to reduced cost and improvement of the product or service. Overwhelmingly the opposite is true as business has to make a profit.

    Transitioning away from fossil fuels means the equivalent energy value has to come from another source which largely will be electricity from renewables. We will need at least 7 (possibly 10) times our current full generation capacity and a grid to carry it. When all cars are electric there will be some interesting load dynamics – as peak hour on the road ends the cars are put on charge and dinner cooked the grid will be hammered. Yes, fully charged EVs will form part of the local storage but we need a grid capable of providing the peak current flows and able to take all sources without going over voltage.

    The design and build of the grid should have been a high priority a decade ago, but due to LNP climate change denial the opportunity was wasted.

  12. totaram

    Albos Elbow: Thanks for the link. Given the technical nature of the subject of grid power, I am not surprised that most well-educated voters would still be confused about many aspects of the transition to Renewable Power. This gives plenty of scope for the usual purveyors of disinformation, doubt, and confusion to ply their trade. Trade it is, for they are paid very well to manufacture their lies and misinformation. Just watch any program on Sky News to slake your thirst for any such evidence thereof. The likes of Chris Kenny, Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt, etc. who have absolutely no technical knowledge of any kind, can be heard on a daily basis spouting complete rubbish on their channels. The sad part is that there are enough ignorant gullibles who swallow this drivel. Fortunately, it seems that the number of such poor souls is reducing. Yeeh haw!

  13. andy56

    yep, on the money. Why should the tax payer give any incentive to work? Your on the dole and we are going to make sure your life is as miserable as possible. You want a go? F you, your on the dole, you made your choices. I can hear LUCIFER’s words in the LNP’s play book.
    I have read so many articles on the power issue that i can only conclude we are surrounded by imbeciles trading as experts in the field.
    “We need to increase the gas infrastructure”, ” we need to let the market operate”, “controls are not needed”, ” government intervention is causing the problems”. Laughing hyenas, the lot of them. The whole market idea is crap. Its an artificial market in a monopoly industry. It should all be under one government roof with two simple ideas. Cheapest energy and renewables at full pace. If it means more renewables than required, so be it, export it. It requires planning, long term planning. yes SEC days again, but by golly, they did their job.

  14. GraemeF

    Nuclear is the last refuge of the climate change denialist.

    It is not warming.
    It is warming but it is natural.
    It is warming, we are causing it but the one and only thing that will fix it is nuclear.

    They are setting themselves up with an excuse so some time in the future they can claim ‘we tried to fix climate change but the nasty greenies wouldn’t let us build nuclear power stations’ while ignoring all the lies that went with steps 1. and 2. and even many on step 3. when they lie about renewable energy, carbon pricing or trading schemes.

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