Thursday, 9 February 2017

Dangers for the Turnbull government in blaming Labor for South Australia's power problems

There are some clear dangers in the campaign by the federal Liberal-National coalition government in trying to politically capitalise on power blackouts in South Australia. The first of them was touched on by the energy regulator when he warned that because of the current heatwave, blackouts are possible in New South Wales this weekend. Should that happen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's claim that the SA problems are simply the result of socialist Labor commitment to wind and solar power will look like the joke that they are.
Far more serious is the likelihood that Labor will get around to making the case that the real problem with power supplies was created by the economic rationalists who introduced the whole market based system. Blaming companies more interested in their own profits than serving the public is a sentiment that will go down well with many people.The SA Premier Jay Weatherill is already going down that populist path with minor party Senator Nick Xenophon not far behind. The temptation for Bill Shorten to do the same must be growing.
Then there is that little matter of global warming. Nothing is more likely to convince Australians that the problem of the world getting hotter is a real one than the lengthy spell of hot weather now being experienced.

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