South Australia wants apology from the PM

Photo: Debbie Prosser

Exactly a year after South Australia was plunged into darkness, SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has called on the Prime Minister for an apology.

On September 28 last year, the state was struck by severe storms, which involved several tornadoes tearing through three major transmission lines and causing a statewide outage.

The cause of the system black has been investigated by numerous federal agencies including the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), with AEMO chair Tony Marxsen stating it was “truly a technology neutral event”.

Mr Koutsantonis said Malcolm Turnbull “ridiculed” the state as it dealt with the devastating natural disaster.’

“Malcolm Turnbull should apologise on behalf of the federal government for using the statewide blackout as an excuse to ridicule South Australia,” the Energy Minister said.

“Rather than step up and provide support and leadership at a time of need, Mr Turnbull chose to attempt to damage our reputation.

“Debate in Federal Parliament consisted of members of the government making jokes about South Australia at a time when many households and businesses where without power and dealing with damage to property caused by the storm.

“South Australians will not forget it.”

Since the black system event, South Australia has launched a $550 million energy plan, which includes the construction of the 100MW Tesla grid-scale battery; the Port Augusta solar thermal plant, and a state-own back-up gas-fired plant.