Investigating Labor’s deal for the diesel generators

The Attorney-General Vickie Chapman has appointed Mark Livesey QC to the role of Special Investigator to examine the former Labor Government’s procurement of nine diesel generators as part of its failed energy plan.

“The former Labor Government’s failed energy policies forced it to throw more than half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money at the problems it had created,” said Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“Labor’s procurement of nine diesel generators was shrouded in secrecy and uncertainty and needs to be subject to detailed scrutiny.

“The public have the right to know exactly how much has been spent to date on these diesel generators, what the ongoing costs will be and whether there is a binding contract.

“The former Labor Government budgeted $432 million for the lease, operation and purchase of the diesel generators across the forward estimates.

“The $432 million price tag for the diesel generators confirms the former Labor Government would never have delivered its energy plan for $550 million, despite its repeated assertions to the contrary.  

“Once again the former Labor administration has been found playing fast and loose with taxpayers’ money and the truth.”

The Terms of Reference for the Special Investigator are as follows:

To review all relevant South Australian Government files and other documents to enable a report to be provided by 30 June 2018 on:

  1. The lease and subsequent purchase of nine aero-derivative turbines from APR Energy and in particular, whether the purchase option is binding, and what advantage, if any, there was in exercising the option early;
  2. Whether all procurement policies and guidelines were followed in exercising the lease and purchase option;
  3. The financial exposure of the State and any other relevant matters arising from these matters;
  4. Options open to the Government with regard to the future management and ownership of the turbines and the financial implications of such options.

“Labor’s disastrous decision to close the Northern Power Station pushed up the price of electricity for South Australians and left the system vulnerable to blackouts,” said Ms Chapman.

“Despite the former Labor Government spending more than half a billion dollars South Australians now have the most expensive electricity in the country.

“The taxpayers of South Australia have the right know if the former Labor Government wasted their money in a blind panic after it closed the Northern Power Station.”

The Marshall Government will maintain the lease of the generators through next summer.