Taxpayers fund Labor’s re-election campaign

The State Liberals are demanding the Labor Party not taxpayers foot the bill for Jay Weatherill’s $500,000 advertising splurge on his electricity fix.

“The advertising campaign is a scandalous misuse of public money,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.

“Jay Weatherill’s energy policy failures have cost South Australians dearly and now he is making us fund an advertising campaign designed to cover-up his culpability.

“Jay Weatherill’s is acting like a Hollywood producer with taxpayers money in a cynical and expensive attempt to hide his responsibility for driving up the cost of South Australia’s very expensive and unreliable electricity.

“Jay Weatherill must also reveal how long he is planning to operate diesel generators to protect against the threat of blackouts and how much those generators will cost.

“Given Treasurer Koutsantonis was incapable of proving any details regarding the cost or operating timeframe, it is critical the Premier does.”

The Tasmanian Government spent $64 million in leasing, site establishment and operational costs for 220 megawatts of diesel generation for three months when a combination of drought and repairs to the Basslink left it short of electricity.

Of that $64 million cost, $50.5 million was for the lease and site establishment costs of the generators.

As a result of Jay Weatherills decision to close down the Northern Power Station 200 megawatts of diesel generation will be required until the Weatherill Government turns on its promised 250 megawatt gas generator.

The cost of these diesel generators are not accounted for in his $550 million fix.

A new gas generator is at least 18 months away at the very earliest and South Australia faces the very real possibility of electricity shortfalls this coming summer and next winter.

In short to protect South Australia’s fragile electricity network from blackouts the Weatherill Government will need to get the diesel generators in place before December.