Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (14:19): My question is to the Minister for Energy and Mining. Will the minister please update the house on the government’s progress in implementing its energy solution?
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (14:19): I thank the member for Flinders for his question, and I note that for the last several years his electorate of Flinders has been particularly hard hit with regard to electricity, and lack of electricity actually, particularly on the Far West Coast. I know that he and all of our government are working very hard to address that issue and many other issues left to us by the former government.
With regard to the specific question—an update on the progress—let me just explain why the progress of our energy plan is so necessary. Over the last several years, South Australians have been punished, absolutely punished, by the energy policies of the former Labor government. They have been punished with high prices. They have been punished with blackouts. They were punished with an unprecedented statewide blackout back on 28 September 2016, which brought attention on our state for all the wrong reasons. We have a wonderful, extraordinary, amazing state in so many ways, but when it comes to our track record in electricity over the last several years under Labor, people don’t look at us positively, unfortunately.
But we are going to correct that. The Premier’s Marshall Liberal government is going to correct that issue. We put forward before the last election our energy policy, and I have to say that it’s been very pleasing, now in government, with access to much more information, access to resources, access to a whole range of organisations, including a government department, to hear that the intent of our policy and the way that we want to go about it is being incredibly well received. In fact, it gets positive feedback everywhere I go.
Now we are at the phase of actually getting into the nitty-gritty of implementation. So let me just say, number one, we will deliver on our commitments in the Premier’s 100-day plan. All of the things to do with energy in South Australia that were in the Premier’s 100-day plan are being implemented. We are working through the detail about how we will roll out our $100 million household storage scheme. We are working through the details of how we will roll out our $50 million grid-scale storage scheme. We are working through the details of our $30 million trials into demand aggregation, demand response and demand management.
We are taking advice from universities, from departments, from people in all areas—the Australian Energy Market Commission, the Australian Energy Market Operator. Everybody is contributing to this solution. Let me tell you where we are getting extraordinary support, and that is from the newly formed department of energy and mining. The Premier made it very clear that a Marshall Liberal government would not have the mess, would not have the chaos of the previous Labor government. We would not have department heads reporting to three, four, five or six different ministers so that nobody really knew what was going on. We have a structure: one minister, one CEO, one department.
Let me tell you about this department. This department, the department of energy and mining, under the new Premier, is working incredibly hard to develop and implement our energy solution, and they are loving it. Let me just tell you: the same people who had been in the department—let me be very clear: there’s been no slash and burn, no picking out individuals, no retribution. These are the same, high-quality, capable, good people, and do you know what? They’ve got a spring in their step. They are loving working in a Marshall Liberal government. They’re doing a great job, and we are going to deliver.