All available evidence shows that the blackout in South Australia on Wednesday night was the result of transmission outages caused by an extreme weather event that included 80,000 lightning strikes.
The sheer power of the lightning strikes and wind took down 21 transmission towers, forcing the shutdown of South Australia from the national grid.
Given this it is unfortunate that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce have joined forces with One Nation in using this event to push their anti-renewable energy agenda.
There is no evidence that renewable energy played a part in what has occurred.
It doesn’t matter if energy is created by coal, nuclear, gas or renewable sources. Without power lines it cannot go from point A to point B.
Rather than peddle mistruths, Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce should start providing some national leadership and focus on developing a renewable vision beyond 2020.
With thousands of people still without power, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should be supporting the South Australian community instead of trying to score cheap political points.
Victoria’s transmission network operator AusNet Services has already sent six temporary transmission towers to South Australia and the Andrews Labor Government continues to offer further assistance as required.
I can reassure all Victorians that our electricity network was not affected by the blackout.
Advice from the Bureau of Meteorology is that the storm has lost a significant amount of force as it passes through Victoria.
The Australian Energy Market Operator is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the South Australian blackout.