Today saw a staggering 16,500 blackouts across the Goldfields region, just a few months after the infamous Summer of Blackouts, courtesy of Energy Minister Bill Johnston’s poorly maintained electricity grid.
Western Power have indicated that the blackouts in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and surrounds will not be fully restored until 4pm today, leaving thousands without power for at least seven hours and with rain and storms approaching later today.
Leader of the WA Liberals and Shadow Minister for Energy, Dr David Honey MLA, said “16,000 homes without power – for any amount of time – is unacceptable. Minister Johnston needs to front families in Kalgoorlie and explain these repeated blackouts.
“I note the recent review into the Christmas Power Outages, which saw over 107,000 Western Australians experience a loss of power across a three day, 40 plus degree period, revealed that since 2017, $368 million dollars less was spent on the electrical distribution system than originally planned.”
“Minister Johnston previously blamed an extended heatwave for the outages and fire bans for delaying repairs with the outages over Christmas and New Year. He can hardly use the same excuse at the start of winter.”
Dr Honey said Western Australians deserve better from a State Government that boasts the largest surplus in WA’s history.
“Instead of boasting Labor’s mining sector-gifted surplus, they should see about investing some of the money to improve electricity grid reliability.
“The Government are bragging about the $400 electricity credit at the same time it is clear that they have under-invested in electricity grid reliability.
“We need to see reliable power supply in WA. It is patently clear that the electricity supply to Kalgoorlie does not have adequate reliability or emergency backup.
“The minimum Western Australia deserves is reliable power, and while Minister Johnston can argue that you can never fully stop power outages, you can certainly stop the frequency of them,” said Dr Honey.