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Australia news live updates: power shortfall warning as energy crisis escalates


Energy minister says Australia in for ‘bumpy’ winter

The federal energy minister, Chris Bowen, has said Australia is facing a “bumpy” winter as energy shortfalls bite across the east coast.

Bowen was on Sunrise this morning, and said that while there was increased strain on the energy system, he remained confident the situation could be managed.

There is a big chunk of coal-fired power out of action in Queensland. That has led to higher prices, and … with the situation in Ukraine, flooding and it being a bit colder earlier than normal, that has increased the load on the system.

It’s all being actively managed. We can have confidence in our operators, regulators who are working together with the states.

I believe that will result in a better situation for energy consumers and avoid blackouts and certainly minimise the risk of any load shedding activities.

The operator tells me there is no need to be concerned about blackouts in the immediate future.

I’m not here to give a magical guarantee, but I am here to say that everything that could be done is being done very actively.

NSW Government announces childcare investment

Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Childcare in New South Wales will be bolstered with a $5 billion package over the next decade as part of a state government plan to boost female participation in the workforce.

It was hoped the policy would create an extra 47,000 places across the state, enable private childcare operators to expand or build new centres and increase the workforce, including through university scholarships for early childhood teachers.

Announcing the policy at a Committee for Sydney event on Tuesday morning, Treasurer Matt Kean said the investment was good economic policy for everyone, not just women.

He said:

Childcare should not be a postcode lottery. This reform will transform childcare in NSW. Good women’s policy is also good economic policy for everyone.

Kean said the loss of female voters for the federal Liberals at the May election was devastating and that he would work to support women in NSW. He said:

I was devastated by that because my party should be the standard-bearer for individual liberty that makes our country great.

Energy minister says Australia in for ‘bumpy’ winter

The federal energy minister, Chris Bowen, has said Australia is facing a “bumpy” winter as energy shortfalls bite across the east coast.

Bowen was on Sunrise this morning, and said that while there was increased strain on the energy system, he remained confident the situation could be managed.

There is a big chunk of coal-fired power out of action in Queensland. That has led to higher prices, and … with the situation in Ukraine, flooding and it being a bit colder earlier than normal, that has increased the load on the system.

It’s all being actively managed. We can have confidence in our operators, regulators who are working together with the states.

I believe that will result in a better situation for energy consumers and avoid blackouts and certainly minimise the risk of any load shedding activities.

The operator tells me there is no need to be concerned about blackouts in the immediate future.

I’m not here to give a magical guarantee, but I am here to say that everything that could be done is being done very actively.

Calls for a public holiday to celebrate Socceroos win

Josh Butler

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has asked the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, to declare a public holiday in celebration of Australia’s qualification for the Fifa World Cup – and he’s already got one high-profile political supporter in federal energy and climate minister Chris Bowen.

“I called out Anthony Albanese the other day to give everyone the day off to celebrate this…I believe this is one of the greatest achievements ever”

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold on Australia’s unlikely road to qualifying for the FIFA World Cup #AUSvPER pic.twitter.com/SRRE3pv2Vq

— 10 Football (@10FootballAU) June 13, 2022

“A four-day weekend to celebrate the Socceroos win, is something I think we can all get behind,” Bowen told Radio National this morning.

“There’s a prime ministerial tradition isn’t there – any boss who sacks their worker for turning up late today is a bum, that’s what the prime minister should say on a day like this, we can all agree.”

Bowen was of course referencing former PM Bob Hawke’s immortal declaration after Australia’s 1983 America’s Cup win. We’re not sure if we’ll see Albanese in front of the cameras in a special white jacket adorned with AUSTRALIA, though. The current PM has only tweeted a simple congratulations (so far) to mark the Socceroos win.

“We’re very proud of them, a great day for Australia,” Bowen continued on RN.

Other politicians got on the Socceroos bandwagon, with a bunch of Labor MPs getting up early to live-tweet much of the game.

Labor senator Nita Green joked Australia was “going to be late for work” after the early morning start.

Insane scenes. Well done to the @Socceroos and Graham Arnold. What a tough fight. It means so so much. We’re going to the #FIFAWorldCup 😍

Dear Australia we’re going to be late for work. 😭😭😭😭

— Senator Nita Green (@nitagreenqld) June 13, 2022

Minister for Sport, Anika Wells, was getting behind new national hero, Andrew Redmayne, who made the ultimate penalty save to seal the Socceroos win.

New MP for Bennelong, Jerome Laxale, asked Albanese for “permission to do the Redmayne dance in question time”.

@AlboMP, permission to do the Redmayne dance in question time prior to Dutton’s first question? #AUSvPER

— Jerome Laxale (@jeromelaxale) June 13, 2022

Peter Hannam

Lack of reserve notice from energy regulator

It’s going to be a long day by the looks of it when it comes to “lack of reserve” notices and intervention by the Australian Energy Market Operator, such as this early one in NSW:

As mentioned in this article, the price caps result in a lot of generators dropping out, and then the regulators are going to have to ask them to jump back in. Seems like an odd way to run things, but Chris Bowen, the federal energy minister, says that’s the market we have to work with.

(Cue: perhaps we need to review how the market operates.)

As for the mix of what’s in the market overnight, and at the start of the day across the National Electricity Market (NEM), here’s the scene:

The NEM, of course, is really only the eastern states and most of South Australia. Western Australia operates its own grids. Still that’s about 80% of the population, and hence, I suppose, the “national” tag still works.

Theft on a large scale

In a very interesting story this morning, Western Australia Police are appealing to the public for information on a burglary from December, where three people stole a sea container with approximately $100,000 worth of mining equipment inside it.

Police say two men and a woman gained entry to into a commercial yard on Wellard Street in Bibra Lake on 28 December, and used a sea container handler to load a 6-metre (!!) sea container onto a truck (that they also stole in August 2021).

It is believed the truck used to transport the sea container was stolen from a commercial yard in Naval Base in August 2021. The truck was later found burnt out on a rural property in Oldbury on Wednesday 8 June 2022.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at crimestopperswa.com.au

Robert Hughes due to be deported

Convicted paedophile and former star of Hey Dad! Robert Hughes, is set to be deported to the UK today.

Hughes was granted parole earlier this month by the NSW State Parole Authority, which determined he be released from Long Bay correctional facility no later than Tuesday.

The 73-year-old renounced his Australian citizenship in 2020, becoming a non-lawful citizen requiring deportation upon release.

Australian Border Force, who usually handles the deportation of convicted criminals who are not Australian citizens, told AAP it does not comment on operational matters.

World Cup joy

Between politicians discussing energy and childcare, we still had the joy of the Socceroos winning their World Cup qualifier this morning, and I felt the ABC’s Tony Armstrong captured the mood pretty perfectly:

Shorten calls for less ‘argy-bargy’ from opposition on energy crisis

Next off the bench is government services and NDIS minister (and former Labor leader) Bill Shorten, who is blaming the cold for the energy shortfall in NSW and Queensland.

Speaking to the Today Show, Shorten also added that “dispatchable power” was essential to combating the energy crisis. He also urged the opposition to join Laor in ending the “energy market operator wars.”

The very cold weather, combined with let’s face it, 10 years of delay and denial about investing in our energy market operator grid, and the chickens have come to roost.

You need what’s called dispatchable power. That’s power that you don’t need to be paying for seven days, 24 hours a week but when it’s really cold, that’s when you need it.

(Australians) want to hear that the government and opposition are working together. The truth is we need more dispatchable power (and) renewable energy is cheaper.

Let’s move forward. Less of the argy-bargy and more of the action.

Matt Kean on NSW’s $5bn childcare package

Kean has gone on to spruik the state government’s new $5bn childcare policy, which he says will grow the state’s economy by $17.4bn.

What it will do is see up to 95,000 women be able to enter the workforce or take on more hours. I mean, childcare costs are attacks on the dreams of women and families right across New South Wales, indeed right across the country.

We believe that families should have access to quality affordable childcare no matter where they live … And these reforms will deliver a middle-income family in New South Wales who have one child full-time care savings of up to $3,900 per annum.

When asked if the state was stepping in to fill a role usually reserved for the federal government, Kean avoided the question:

This is one of the biggest productivity reforms that we can have that will grow our economy. And obviously lift living standards in this state.

Our policy is focused on providing additional childcare – accessible and affordable childcare across New South Wales – will grow the overall size of the economy by $17.4 billion.

NSW treasurer says he is confident in ‘reliability’ of energy system

NSW treasurer Matt Kean says he has confidence in the “reliability of the system,” indicating he is not expecting any blackouts in the coming days.

Speaking to Patricia Karvelas on RN Breakfast, Kean said the government was monitoring the situation, but asked people to be conscious of their power usage.

We’re obviously monitoring the situation very closely. But this situation has arisen because the wholesale prices of electricity have gone above a point which triggers the market cap. That cap is in place to protect consumers.

And because the price of electricity that the generators can get for supplying electricity into the market is too low to cover their costs, they’re not bidding into the system. So this is a market failure issue.

We’re not telling people to turn off the heaters, we’re not telling people to turn down their air conditioners or anything like that. But people should just be conscious that where they can reduce their use of electricity, that’s a good thing for them. It’s going to lower their power bills, and it’s also going to take a bit of pressure off the system.

Socceroos qualify for the World Cup

Before we jump into the inevitable flow of politicians making the media rounds this morning, I wanted to point to Emma Kemp’s ongoing live blog of Australia’s World Cup qualifier.

Earlier this morning, Australia beat Peru on penalties to make their fifth consecutive World Cup:

You can also read the match report, linked here.

Good morning

Good morning, and happy World Cup qualification day! Mostafa Rachwani with you this morning, to take you through the day’s news.

We begin in New South Wales, where energy authorities are on high alert for possible power shortfalls hitting homes and businesses tonight. It comes after Queensland only narrowly avoided blackouts last night, after the Australian Energy Market Operator worked to head off a gap projected at one stage to be 1,454 megawatts.

In federal politics, deputy prime minister Richard Marles will be in Tokyo today, maintaining the jet-setting ways of this new government. Marles will be calling for stronger military ties between Japan and Australia, emphasising the need to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Back in NSW, the state government there has unveiled its signature budget policy, which will allow private childcare operators to expand or build new centres, in the hopes of creating an extra 47,000 places across the state.

Finally, prime minister Anthony Albanese is considering whether to attend a NATO summit in Madrid at the end of the month, and to support the alliance toughening its stance against Russia.

There is still much going on, so let’s dive in.





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