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See you Jay and raise you a fluoro vest

It was with great gusto and fanfare that our previously ineffectual Prime Minister announced his game-changing solution for energy security in Australia.

We will have, in a year or two…..drum roll please….a feasibility study!

Don’t get me wrong – when you are messing with river flows and drilling into mountains, a feasibility study is a good idea.

The thing I don’t understand is how you can announce the cost, the employment it will provide, the power it will generate, and a completion date, before you have even started the study.

The Victorian government, who are part owners of the Snowy Hydro scheme, only heard about the idea in the media – the Telegraph knew about it before they did. And the NSW government, who are the majority shareholders, got a phone call the day before the announcement.

Frontier Economics managing director Danny Price said “At this stage I would regard the Snowy proposal as a ‘thought bubble’. It’s not a quick fix. The problem we face now is immediate.”

Turnbull and Frydenberg would have us believe the project will be finished in four years.

Dr Mark Diesendorf of the University of NSW said he thought the project would take at least 10 years because they would have to tunnel through the Great Dividing Range and also build new transmission lines to handle the higher electricity capacity, which actually takes longer than building a new power station.

Dr Roger Dargaville of the Melbourne Energy Institute said pumped hydro needed the right mix of water and geography to make it work.

“It’s not cheap to do … and by most accounts the potential of the Snowy Hydro has already been tapped,” he said.

ARENA have been asked to do the feasibility study. That’s the same ARENA that Tony Abbott tried to abolish and that Morrison’s Omnibus Bill proposed cutting $1.3 billion in funding from. They succeeded in cutting $500 million, leaving them with $800 million over the next five years to fund renewable research, development and innovation.

Call me overly cautious, but I wouldn’t be making announcements and promises before the study is even begun. Batteries could be a whole lot cheaper and definitely quicker option.

Call me overly cynical, but I wonder if this announcement would have been made if Jay Weatherill hadn’t gotten the ball rolling by taking control and action in SA.


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  1. Möbius Ecko

    Apart from the Murdoch media, and repeated by Channel 9 this morning, saying Weatherill had a blowup, I noticed other commentators had picked up on the fact the Federal government is scrambling to play one better because of Weatherill’s energy announcement to secure his State’s supply.

    That Weatherill’s plan was a go it alone one, divorcing the Feds, must have irked them somewhat looking at their reaction. What Weatherill did was (rightly) shift a large portion of the blame to the Feds and highlight how slack the Federal government has been on energy supply and security, for example the selling of our gas leaving little in reserve for us.

    Conveniently, Ltd News had a Newspoll to go along with their attack on Weatherill showing that most South Australians blame him for the energy problems in the State.

  2. Pappinbarra Fox

    Mal thing is making a big deal about increasing output by a whopping 50 percent. Doesn’t the snowy scheme contribute less than 5 percent of our energy needs?

  3. Michael Faulkner

    Möbius Echo,

    Isn’t Adelaide Rupert’s old home town ?

    It must give him a warm inner glow to know that Adelaide is now almost exclusively served by his very own newspapers, and that NewsCorp’s push-polling Newspoll news-breaking strategy plan, plays an important role in steering the populace towards Rupert’s own view of the world.

    Jay Weatherall’s exasperated and innovating independence has wrong-footed the Feds and they will rely on NewsCorp now to amplify their attacks on him.

    And thanks Kay Lee for highlighting the ‘ just in time’ reactive opportunist hubris of Turnbull’s feasibility study to extend the Snowy River scheme. Payback perhaps to these recalcitrant South Australians ?

  4. Kaye Lee

    Turnbull said “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.”

    Say what?

  5. Terry2

    Good points, kaye.

    Ownership of the Snowy Hydro scheme is NSW 58%, VIC 29% and Commonwealth 13%.

    So, whilst the feasibility study may very well come out in support of the logistics and the costs of pumped hydro isn’t it a little strange that Malcolm, representing the Commonwealth the minor shareholder, should be making announcements without prior discussions and agreement with the major equity holders ?

  6. helvityni

    As I said a day or so ago, PMs are not to be upstaged by mere Premiers from the Provinces…

    I was waiting for the killer punch and voila, there it was, our very agile Mal, clad in Fluoro and helmet, almost ‘king-like’ telling us ,out there in the Snowy Mountains where the men are men, and women stay in the kitchen : I am an innovative, progressive, caring PM just like those great ones from the past….

    It resembled a scene from a film by one of our famed movie-makers, or a perhaps like an ad of the times when we still believed cigarettes were good for you…

  7. David Bruce

    This feasibility study could cancel any State Government initiative which would address the issues in 2017. WA voters have again shown their disdain for anything east of the rabbit-proof fence. It begs the question, why can’t the 3 states involved, set up their own consortium and by pass the Australian Government (Inc). I am sure there will be financial resource institutes keen to fund solutions to energy supply problems, with utility users (including big business) on the hook for repayments?

  8. Peter F

    Kaye, the horse has already bolted, and no ‘Man from Snowy River’ will call it back.

    Google “Clean disruption, Tony Seba” to get a clear perspective on where we are headed.

  9. Henry Rodrigues

    So he’s swapped a flouro jacket for his ‘not so trusty; leather one . Why didn’t he just swap his non existent male genitalia for something that will at least give him some confidence in his upcoming ‘battle royale’ with his old mate, Tony. Its will be the most anticipated fight of the century. I’ve got the pop corn and beer ready.

  10. Zathras

    The Federal Government owns 13% of the Snowy Scheme, NSW owns 58% and Victoria has 29%.

    Back in 2006 John Howard was trying to sell it off for $3billion but bowed to public pressure, but also wanted to avoid the damaging Parliamentary debate that would have been required plus the resulting damage to the National Party.

    He went on to allow electricity generators to spend-up big on improvements and pass the cost (plus a further 10%) onto consumers, thus raising electricity prices.
    One could suspect that this was intended to fatten up the industry to get it ready for full privatisation.

    I wonder who would have been bankrolling a scheme like this if the Snowy was in private hands?

    When it comes to SA Power security, it was always intended to connect SA to the NSW grid as well as Victoria’s but the then State Government didn’t want to spend the $80million required but sold it off instead, leaving the half-connected supply as a legacy.

    These are typical examples of the potential impact of short-sighted opportunistic political decisions.

    Unfortunately the public seems to see history as a 3-week moving window.

  11. crypt0

    Turnbull and Frydenberg suggest the project will be finished in four years, but then they have been wrong about everything else so …
    No 75 on the IPA wish list, (much progress has already been made by this LieNP “government”) just happens to be … wait for it …
    Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
    Now it starts to make (some kind of ) sense.

  12. Michelle Petrat


    I heard that sentence “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.” and was stunned.

    Westacott this morning said how frustrated she was that we can’t find the 50 billion in savings we need to keep services to Medicare, NDIS and Welfare going without increasing taxes.

    I assumed she is anxious about the 50 billion Turnbull promised to the medium/big sized business in tax relief.

    And here, Turnbull’s statement. His Government has leadership (since when, the bloke has no balls, no spine and no character strength) and money (where is the budget crisis????)

    Figure that.

  13. Harquebus

    The manufacture of renewable energy devices and batteries is completely dependent on fossil fuels.
    Peak oil mates, peak oil.

  14. Kaye Lee

    We used to have a nationally-owned private health insurer returning a nice profit to government coffers. We sold it because we had a budget emergency. Since that time, my private health insurance premiums have skyrocketed.

    Sell a profitable business (that was keeping downward pressure on premiums) to pay down a debt you have no trouble financing?

    And now I hear we have potloads of cash?

    Would you take your investment advice from these guys?

    They just love a short term sugar hit that they can then spend on football stadiums and CCTV cameras just before the next election.

  15. Halfbreeder

    Turnbull said on the evening of the day of the announcement that pumping water up hill to let it flow downhill and turn generators will require Snowy Hydro Pty Ltd to buy electricity, most likely coal generated electricity, at cheap overnight rates for use in the pumping process. Whats the point? Why not just store the electricity purchased at cheap rates in batteries and distribute that directly. Seems like a doubling up of costs. Fryderberg said it would create ‘a few hundred jobs’. Seems like this project will really only benefit the coal miners like Gina Reinhardt as it guarantees continuation of the sale of their coal. Flaws are already beginning to appear in this project. Why purchase cheap coal generated electricity only to use it to generate more expensive electicity? And its not ‘sustainable’ at all as coal will be used in the process. The $2 bill could be better spent on locally located battery banks and as support for the auto manufacturing industry that employed up to 200K australians. This government is loco.

  16. Clean livin

    Kaye Lee. Dont limit yourself to health insurance. There is a trail of bad monetary decisions, including Comm Bank. (Aren’t the banks being naughty, ever since), Sydney Airport and assosiated car park, telsra and the resultant NBN solution.

    I can’t think of one where the government has made a good decision for a good result.

  17. Richard Creswick

    If polls– apart from Limited News push polls– show the people of Australia believe Macho Mal’s bulldust, then I will despair. It is nothing but a transparent and cynical attempt to look like he is doing something on energy, having only received a dried crust from the gas industry. And as for ‘we have the leadership and we have the money’ , show me.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Clean livin,

    The electricity grids and the ports…gold at rock bottom prices. As you say, the list is endless.

  19. Halfbreeder

    Turnbull said “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.”

    Havent they been saying for four years that the country is broke? Now turbull says we have plenty of money. These mugs are underestimating the public’s intelligence. This scheme is a desperate scam that will fall thru soon enough. Its just a matter of time. They will no doubt doctor the report to suit the outcomes they want for their donors and to embellish turnbull’s public image but that will lose its shine once the public have had more time to scrutinised the project.

  20. helvityni

    “pumping water up hill to let it flow downhill and turn generators will require Snowy Hydro Pty Ltd to buy electricity, most likely coal generated electricity…”

    No , no, Halfbreeder, our god-like PM will make water flow uphill in one swift raising of the arms, I’m in awe, I think I’m turning religious overnight, this is Biblical, reminds me of Moses on the Mountains…

    You Labor/Green people are just jealous, Shorten and Weatherill could never achieve this…maybe if they talked to Pauline and asked her for help…

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    Could PM be attacking renewals more than Weatherill. I suspect PM has been ordered to kill renewals, as he did broadband.

  22. Alistair

    This is Turnbull attempting to kick the energy issue into the long grass after what I think was a very successful launch by Weatherill of a sound plan

  23. MichaelW

    Florence don’t mention broadband, Kay will start having palpitations.

  24. Geoff Andrews

    I gave a wide-eyed “HUH?” when I heard Turnbull assert, “I am a nation building Prime Minister, trust me.”
    Of course, he misread the teleprompter, which read , “I am a notion building Prime Minister”.
    I’m reliably informed that vanity prevents him from wearing glasses in public..

  25. Kronomex

    Four years with stuff ups, add another two years at a cost of, being conservative here, about $1.5 billion a year makes around $9 billion. Sounds about right for the LNP gummint and their magic accountancy cape. Who’s going to receive this largess from the little tax payer in the street? Most probably a foreign company with deep hidden donour pockets or, very unlikely, an Australian owned company.

    Malcolm. Yoohoo, Malcolm! I just had a brilliant idea worthy of the Mad Monk and his green army. Why not create the Snowy Army from all those leaners on benefits. Get two lines going up the mountain sides starting from either a river or dam and give each person a bucket. They can create the worlds longest bucket line to get water up the hills and mountains to the hydro power stations. And to cap it off you make them pay for their bucket. All those extra millions for you and your crew to put in the pig trough…I mean revenue coffers.

  26. eefteeuu

    Turnbull, a spineless eunoch.

  27. Alan Baird

    Years ago, Malcolm had a “lightbulb” moment. He pushed the introduction of compact fluorescent lights. A quick rush of blood to his brain and tongue engaged, he said with great authority that we led the world in the work against global warming. He really said that. As Julia Gillard would say, “That’s hyperbowl*”
    In the mad maelstrom of world events and the titanic fight against global warming, the hydro announcement is way up there with the lightbulbs.
    *A very large tenpin establishment in Tucson of doubtful authenticity.

  28. helvityni

    We have to stay positive, Knonomex, see, all those bucket carrying peasants would all be working, not bludging, plus they would become agile again, be fit as a fiddle…no more Centrelinks or Medicare needed…Win/Win for all…

  29. silkworm

    “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.”

    Suddenly Trumble is a convert to Modern Monetary Theory because it is now useful to him.

  30. bobrafto

    I’m sure most of you if not all will remember this song:

    Anything you can do,
    I can do better
    I can do anything
    Better than you.
    No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can. No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can. No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can,
    Yes, I can!
    Anything you can be
    I can be greater.
    Sooner or later,
    I’m greater than you.
    No, you’re not. Yes, I am.
    No, you’re not. Yes, I am.
    No, you’re NOT!. Yes, I am.
    Yes, I am!
    I can shoot a partridge
    With a single cartridge.
    I can get a sparrow
    With a bow and arrow.
    I can live on bread and cheese.
    And only on that?
    So can a rat!
    Any note you can reach
    I can go higher.
    I can sing anything
    Higher than you.
    No, you can’t. (High)
    Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can’t. (Higher)
    Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can’t. (Higher)
    Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can’t. (Higher)
    Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can’t. (Higher)
    Yes, I CAN! (Highest)
    Anything you can buy
    I can buy cheaper.
    I can buy anything
    Cheaper than you.
    Fifty cents?
    Forty cents! Thirty cents?
    Twenty cents! No, you can’t!
    Yes, I can,
    Yes, I can!
    Anything you can say
    I can say softer.
    I can say anything
    Softer than you.
    No, you can’t. (Softly)
    Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can’t. (Softer)
    Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can’t. (Softer)
    Yes, I can. (Softer)
    YES, I CAN! (Full volume)
    I can drink my liquor
    Faster than a flicker.
    I can drink it quicker
    And get even sicker!
    I can open any safe.
    Without bein’ caught?
    That’s what I thought–
    you crook!
    Any note you can hold
    I can hold longer.
    I can hold any note
    Longer than you.
    No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can No, you can’t.
    Yes, I can
    Yes, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I No, you C-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-N’T–
    CA-A-A-A-N! (Cough, cough!)
    Yes, you ca-a-a-an!
    Anything you can wear
    I can wear better.
    In what you wear
    I’d look better than you.
    In my coat?
    In your vest! In my shoes?
    In your hat! No, you can’t!
    Yes, I can
    Yes, I CAN!
    Anything you say
    I can say faster.
    I can say anything
    Faster than you.
    No, you can’t. (Fast)
    Yes, I can. (Faster) No, you can’t. (Faster)
    Yes, I can. (Faster) Noyoucan’t. (Faster)
    YesIcan! (Fastest)
    I can jump a hurdle.
    I can wear a girdle.
    I can knit a sweater.
    I can fill it better!
    I can do most anything!
    Can you bake a pie? No.
    Neither can I.
    Anything you can sing
    I can sing sweeter.
    I can sing anything
    Sweeter than you.
    No, you can’t. (Sweetly)
    Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can’t. (Sweeter)
    Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can’t. (Sweeter)
    Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can’t, can’t, can’t (sweeter)
    Yes, I can, can, can (Sugary)
    Yes, I can! No, you can’t!

  31. helvityni

    All we have to do is to be agile ,innovative and POSITIVE, like our upbeat, smiling Leader and all our worries will disappear:

    You’ve got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

    You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
    Bring gloom down to the minimum
    Have faith or pandemonium
    Liable to walk upon the scene

    To illustrate his last remark
    Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
    What did they do
    Just when everything looked so dark

    Man, they said we better, accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
    No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
    Do you hear me?

    Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear
    About the elininatin’ of the negative
    And the accent on the positive
    And gather ’round me children if you’re willin’
    And sit tight while I start reviewin’

  32. brickbob

    There was movement at the hydro that the PM had got away………… cant think of anythink else……………………

  33. bobrafto


    Better than mine.

  34. helvityni


    Anything you can do,
    I can do better…. 🙂

    (Don’t know who wrote ‘my’ song, but Bing Crosby sang it…)

  35. jamesss

    I know its great to highlight their inability to do anything with a wonderful outcome. That is not their job. Serving up Bull Shit is their job, to those who are medicated by the drinking water.

  36. Cliff

    What should get more air time is the story that when he held his presser at the Snowny, the NBN signal was so poor that it could not be directly uploaded.

  37. bobrafto


    Here it is in graphic form, shame I can’t post it here.

  38. babyjewels10

    This mob have had a whiff of voter sentiment and desperation is setting in.

  39. Kaye Lee

    In December 2005, the NSW government announced it would sell its 58% share in Snowy Hydro, a publicly unlisted company that operates the Scheme, expecting to yield a billion dollars. This proposal was effectively vetoed by the Federal government in June 2006, by an announcement that the Federal government would no longer sell its 13% stake in the project, which forced the states to follow suit. Interest in privatisation was renewed in Feb 2014, when the National Commission of Audit recommended in its Phase One Report that the Commonwealth sell its interest in Snowy Hydro.

  40. Michael Taylor

    One of the first things you learn in the Public Service is that the government never has a feasibility study unless it knows the findings.

  41. helvityni

    bobrafto, I’m not on Facebook, but via your link I saw Fizza and ‘my’ poem for few seconds, good on ya Bob… 🙂 This time YOU did it better….

  42. Michael Taylor

    Surely whoever wrote this can’t be serious. It was apparently from an LNP supporter and was posted as a comment on Josh Frydenberg’s Facebook page:

    “I have been thinking long and hard about why the government would be so hell bent on long term reserves of coal and gas, and I think I have the answer, I am hoping that a spokesperson for LNP may be able to confirm this theory, ok here goes:

    There is a limited amount of renewable energy being delivered to the planet by our sun. every KW of energy that is stored in batteries instead of being allowed to land on the earths surface and turn into heat, is reducing the ability of the planet to warm itself.

    We are headed for peak solar capture! once we go past we will be plunged into an ice age

    World leaders are oblivious to this fact, and are plunging headlong into solar and wind energy, and battery storage. The inevitable end result of all this effort in both reducing CO2 emissions and reducing land mass heating is that we are headed for a global ice age.

    Australia’s LNP are positioning Australia in the prime position to respond to such a global emergency by not only retaining the worlds only large scale CO2 production facilities, but in opening up large scale coal reserves that could be set alight to avert such a catastrophe.

    When the world finally realises the error of it’s ways, we will be ready for them, and can reverse the global ice age.

    We must prepare now, as it will be too late when we are all too cold to move.”

  43. Michael Taylor

    Good find, Kaye. Sounds like his type.

  44. Ian

    In keeping with the musical leanings of the commentary, I’d like to throw in my little musical contribution.
    ..and a one and a two and a ….

    “I’ll be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
    I’ll be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
    When you dead in your grave,
    No more women will you crave.
    I’ll be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
    I trust you in my home, you rascal, you.
    I trust you in my home, you rascal, you.
    I trust you in my home,
    You wouldn’t leave my wife alone.
    I’ll be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
    I fed you since last fall, you rascal, you.
    I fed you since last fall, you rascal, you.
    I fed you since last fall,
    Then you got your ashes hauled.
    I’ll be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
    You asked my wife to wash your clothes, you rascal, you.
    You asked my wife to wash your clothes, you rascal, you.
    You asked my wife to wash your clothes
    And something…”

    ……….exits stage off prompt ……..

  45. paulwalter

    Loved Michel Taylor’s humorous posting. A salve after a bewildering day trying understanding what drives editorial decisions in MSM, eg “Dog shot on runway in NZ” while coverage of INPEX is “disappeared” completely.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Western Australia’s largest gas retailer Alinta Energy has been sold to a Hong Kong-based company

    Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) — owned by the Cheng family — paid an undisclosed sum for the utility, which had been planning to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) for an estimated $4 billion.

    CTFE “intend to grow the business by pursuing value-accretive investment opportunities in the Australian energy markets as they arise,” Alinta said in a statement.

  47. paulwalter

    Fook Chow Tai.

    Another interesting case of disappeared news, methinks. The third interesting story broken by the ABC this week and no doubt it will be ignored by the rest also.

  48. Kaye Lee

    WA’s Premier Mark McGowan, whose government was sworn in today with Ben Wyatt as energy minister, said it was up to the Foreign Investment Review Board to determine whether Alinta would be sold.

  49. paulwalter

    Latter day Pig Iron Bob stuff somewhere. I hate it when ALP politicians roll over, shows what a shopfront aussie politics is.

    Never mind, am getting old, but wonder what sort of world the youngsters inherit.

  50. paulwalter

    Btw, last comment is not intended as anything racist, the politicians would sell their mothers if a quid could be made of it.
    When I say I don’t like ALP politicians giving way, its just that I have always expected a little bit better from them than the Tories.

  51. Pete Petrass

    Well what can I say but you should not be so unbelievably harsh on poor old Fizza and his infrastructure predictions. After all the NBN was finished by 2016 wasn’t it?

  52. Michael Taylor

    Wasn’t racist at all, Paul. If anything, I now feel like Chinese. After all, it was very similar to an old Chinese restaurant in Adelaide (Henley Rd, I think): Lee How Fook.

  53. amethyst3009

    There was movement at the hydro that the PM had got away”
    Oh, brickbob, I just love this,,, Truly laughed out loud.

    If only the situation were not so serious. Cry, my beloved country, cry.

  54. paulwalter

    In “Werewolves of London”, the first verse includes:

    “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand..
    looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook’s”.

    But have the werewolves migrated south to ensure Australians don’t get to use their own gas without paying through the nose?

    I do love this Dreamtime, don’t anyone wake me up,

    “Jumpin’ Jack Flash, it’s a gas, gas, gas”.

  55. Johno

    Kaye Lee
    ‘They just love a short term sugar hit that they can then spend on football stadiums and CCTV cameras just before the next election.
    That is why the Roman’s built the Colloseum, keep the plebs happy. Nothing much has changed.

  56. Kaye Lee

    if we are talking songs Lily Allen expresses how I feel…

    Look inside
    Look inside your tiny mind
    Now look a bit harder
    ‘Cause we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbor

    So you say
    It’s not okay to be gay
    Well I think you’re just evil
    You’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
    Your point of view is medieval

    F*ck you
    F*ck you very, very much
    ‘Cause we hate what you do
    And we hate your whole crew
    So please don’t stay in touch

  57. paulwalter

    Sung so virginally, butter wouldn’t melt in the little one’s mouth..

  58. paulwalter

    Fascinating watching this STUXNET stuff on SBS..remarkable what they can blow up without hardly lifting a finger.

  59. wam

    The fact that trumble and porkface are bashing 7/9 morning shows suggests the weatherill idea has long term value and they had better act.
    When will bill be on today and tanya on sunrise repeating:
    “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.” ??????
    or a review, michael?
    Mundine got sacked just after he called an evaluation of Aboriginal projects not the incessant reviews.

  60. Kyran

    My word. How does this work out?

    No mention of the man (?) from Snowy River, let alone his fine steed, Friedy.
    Ooops, my bad. Play the ball, not the (?) man.
    Infrastructure Australia had no idea of the significance of the Snowy scheme. No mention.
    It’s a bit like fast trains, very fast trains. No mention.
    It’s a bit like a fast NBN, a very fast NBN (that works). No mention.
    Thank goodness good government started again, It’s been more than three years since we had that. Notwithstanding an election.
    Thank you Ms Lee, and commenters. Happy St Pat’s. Take care

  61. Florence nee Fedup

    Why don’t we start talking about what is really going on. This and previous go government has done nothing when it comes to energy in every way.

    They demolished Labor’s energy policies that were in place. CEF suite of bills that dealt with carbon emissions and renewals technology for the future.

    They don’t recognise that privatisation was a failure. Have let the grid deteriorate to point isn’t working.

    Refuse to sere that marketing system doesn’t deliver.

    On top of this they have sat back, letting the gas producers thrash the Australian market. Not enough gas to service those who rely on it, including gas-fired generators. Pushing the price through the roof.

    Then there is DA which was supposed to be superior to CEF. Result is emissions and costs going through the roof. Drop in revenue to bottom line of the budget. Extra outlays paying polluters We wen from win win win to lose lose.

    After 3 years of slumber they awoke to find energy security at crisis point. No gas for local market. Little return for taxpayer for what is exported.

    Worse, in spite of their efforts to kill renewals, they have taken off, proving they are the energy source of the future. More important, of now.

    All but this government are begun to scream for a price to be put on carbon emissions. Growing louder every day.

  62. Gangey1959

    @KL. Turnbull said “The capacity was there, all that was missing was leadership and money, and my government has both.”
    I think the response is ”What you talkin’ about, Willis?”

  63. Zathras

    It’s a bit ironic for Turnbull to be portraying The Snowy as some sort of saviour, considering its history with the Liberal Party.

    Menzies was firmly against it being built in the first place – it was the financial equivalent of the NBN – but the exiting Labor government made sure there were contracts written so it could not be stopped after the election.

    Of course Menzies later opened it to great acclaim and had his name on the commemorative plaque.

    Howard was keen to sell it off but was stopped mainly because it would have required an electorally damaging Parliamentary debate but it’s still on the IPA’s wish list as a disposable asset.

    Now, years later its proven to be a great political distraction during a difficult period. I wonder if it will get the NBN treatment?

  64. Terry2


    From the Australian 16 December 2016 :

    “A preliminary report produced by an expert panel, headed by Dr Finkel, says that of three policies assessed, the Australian Energy Market Commission and Australian Energy Market Operator found “an emissions intensity scheme best integrated with the electricity market’s pricing and risk management framework, had the lowest economic costs and the lowest impact on electricity prices”. Chief Scientist Alan Finkel says he is confident the Turnbull government will accept his advice after an interim report into the future security of the national electricity market lent support to an emissions intensity scheme.”

    As we now know, the Chief Scientist’s confidence in the Turnbull government was shattered when Turnbull without even considering or awaiting the final report and against all the advice he has been given dismissed an Emissions Intensity Scheme : it’s off the table like negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions given to housing speculators.

    I hope that Alan Finkel retains his independence of thought and his integrity – I’m sure he will – and produces a report that is not fashioned to accommodate political ideology.

  65. Diane

    @Terry2 – there was a lot of talk about this by Weatherill in his now famous take-down of Fraudenberg on Thursday. Cut out of most of the MSM edited videos of the event of course (But I think the full version is available on JW’s FB Page). The evidence of the ABCs demise as an independent reporting source saddened me greatly though – when most of the social media comments were in support of Weatherill’s calmly delivered and carefully scripted put-down, the ABC chose to make it look like a disjointed rant, and described it as ‘bizarre’ and an example of ‘politicians at their worst’: Most of the public saw it as a politician at last saying what a lot of us are thinking, and a leader having the balls to stand up and defend his state. His office apparently had an unprecedented amount of calls supporting his stance, and even people who would never vote Labor were impressed. Certainly not the impression you’d get from reading MSM reports.

  66. Kaye Lee

    Finkel’s preliminary report also said….

    “Fortunately, solutions are available to effectively integrate variable renewable electricity generators into the electricity grid, but we will have to change the way we operate. Such solutions include intelligent wind turbine controllers, batteries and synchronous condensers, all of which can contribute to system security. But the NEM does not currently encourage their adoption. Emerging markets for ancillary services, required to maintain system security, have not kept pace with the transition. New and updated frameworks, technical standards and rules may be required.”

  67. Terry2

    Turnbull on 3AW with Neil Mitchell yesterday :

    Neil Mitchell : the feasibility study you’re running on the Snowy idea…..

    Turnbull : It’s more than an idea, the project has been designed, actually.

    Mitchell : what if the feasibility study says it’s a dud….?

    Turnbull : Well, it won’t say that….

    Mitchell (chuckling) : what are you having it (the feasibility study) for then ..?

    Clarke & Dawe and the Utopia scriptwriters have their scripts being written for them !

  68. totaram

    “Such solutions include intelligent wind turbine controllers, batteries and synchronous condensers, all of which can contribute to system security. But the NEM does not currently encourage their adoption.”

    I’m horrified. Does he say why the NEM has this stance?

  69. Elizabeth Pritchard

    The government can promise anything, as it does all the time but that doesn’t mean that they will, or can follow through. In any case, they can pull money out of the hat for anything that they want to do just by printing it. Any program could be carried out immediately, don’t have to rely in feasibility studies.
    You have to laugh at turnbull’s over estimation of his own importance and power to achieve. He is the most ineffectual chest puffing lying drip that we have ever had in his position bar none.

  70. paulwalter

    So, its like the water system bosses not liking rain water tanks?

    I vaguely remember attempts to charge people for their own rainwater some where in the dark, dim past.

    What a racket.

    The problem with privatisations is that they are subject to commercial in confidence, we never know what we are let in for .

    How can democracy be called democracy when this sort of trickery goes on?

  71. Kaye Lee

    From the report….

    The Renewable Energy Target is designed to achieve an increase in large-scale renewable energy generation to 2020 but not beyond. The policy also ends in 2030, meaning that projects commencing in 2020 will need to recover their capital costs over only a ten year period.

    While the Emissions Reduction Fund has encouraged land-sector abatement, projects seeking to improve the efficiency of electricity consumption are relatively few and small in scale.

    The Safeguard Mechanism is designed to prevent emissions reductions purchased under the Fund being offset by growth in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy. At present, this policy is not calibrated to drive emissions reduction. The electricity sector’s baseline under the Safeguard Mechanism is set at 198 million tonnes of CO2 -e (carbon dioxide equivalent) – well above the current level of emissions from the sector of 178 million tonnes of CO2 -e2.

    There is evidence that investment in the electricity sector has stalled and investors have become less responsive to investment signals. This is due to policy instability and uncertainty driven by numerous reviews into the RET and a lack of clarity about the policies to reduce emissions after 2020. Investment in renewable energy dropped by 52 per cent between 2013 and 2014 and has not yet recovered to the level required to satisfy the Renewable Energy Target.

  72. paulwalter

    Got about 90% except for a little bit of the jargonese.

    The stuff on SA, decoded, is really an accusation of cheap and nastiness directed at AEMO.

    Slightly bung head so must return later.

  73. paulwalter

    Some thing else in the back of my mind, a comment the other day that suggested the system was gouged by gas producers who made bad contracting deals with China that now have to be fulfilled and the money has therefore to come from somewhere else.

    What Mickey Mouse all this unfettered free market crap system of the government’s is, particularly when blended with climate denialism as an excuse for kneecapping science based alternative technologies.. It only ever applies when the protection of monopolies involved..”too big to fail”, or is it just hopelessly innefficient crony capitalism?

  74. Peter F

    For the Hydro scheme to be used as a ‘battery’ it is necessary to pump water uphill. Now, what better way to do that than with coal fired power stations?

    Why would I think this might be an option?

  75. Möbius Ecko

    Now this might explain why the Liberals are so keen on pumped hydro. Emphasis mine.

    “Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest.

    Also from the little research I’ve done pumped hydro is only good for less than a day of power. As a base load balancer it will not bring down energy prices, but will add to them.

    So what is Turnbull going on about when he says it will power x number of thousands of houses, making out it’s a constant supply.

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