Daniel Andrews’ power policy is so riddled with caveats and contradictions that it’s now clear that far from being a light bulb moment to address Victoria’s power crisis, it is just a political boondoggle to cover up failures to shore up the state’s electricity system.
Mr Andrews’ policy started unravelling on Wednesday after the release of the Federal Budget when he admitted that “power bills, ah, as forecast last night are set to go up.”
This is a direct contradiction to his claims in paid advertisements that his policy would “drive down power bills”.
The Budget projects bills will rise by 56 percent over the next two years which puts paid Andrews’ claims that power bills will start to decrease over the next two years.
In the depth of his policy documents that modelled his idea, information was buried which never made it into his media release announcing the thought bubble, and for good reason.
The document reveals that far from prices falling, they will increase by 40 percent from 2025, which explains why he is unable to say how much lower prices will be in his tattered policy.
“How much lower”, he answered when quizzed, “I’m not nominating a number”, he said.
When pushed on the figure he again retreated from claims that he would drive power prices down.
“I can’t give you a, an exact dollar number and I am not pretending to.”
Extraordinarily, he went on to say he would not give a date for when, or more accurately if, prices would fall, admitting “I am also not giving you an exact date”.
He then listed a series of caveats as to why.
“…ah it depends on which projects get away”
“it depends on the order in which they are built”
“it also depends on Federal Government support for some of the transmission projects”
Finally, it’s revealed the whole boondoggle is not funded. Daniel Andrews says he will commit $1 billion to the project, of which the state will own 51 percent, which means at a minimum industry super funds, his preferred partner will have to stump up another $900 million just for the windfarms, while the Commonwealth will have to pay for new transmission lines.
Like the Suburban Rail Loop, dreamed up by Daniel Andrews in 2018, this policy does not have a business case to support it.
David Southwick MP
Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables