Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Libs want some Ruddy help

Posted by occidentprone on June 19, 2008

WA Libs are accusing the prime minister of not doing enough to aid WA in its hour of cold and darkness, says ABC. Fair call.

Liberal Senator David Johnson has accused both the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter of inaction over the crisis.

Senator Johnson says Mr Rudd should confirm if the Government has the constitutional authority to enact the Liquid Fuels and Emergency Act.

“If we’re on solid ground there should be an emergency declared,” he said.

The Senators and MPs also called for the price of diesel to be stabilised to ease demand for gas and for gas energy users to be switched to diesel so gas can be freed up for small and medium business use.

I  haven’t read all of the Liquid Fuels and Emergency Act, I got confused with all the roman numerals, so I’m not sure what it means for us.  But Kevin Rudd doesn’t have time to be worrying about boring old gas crises and something-or-other Act, now that he’s started packing for the Olympics. Much more important stuff on the horizon.

The Australian reports on Rudd’s perspective:

The concerns of business were echoed in Canberra yesterday, with Kevin Rudd saying: “Given WA’s crucial significance to the overall performance of the Australian economy, there will be wash-through for us all on this over time, but in WA right now it’s being felt directly.”

… Carpenter said yesterday he had briefed the Prime Minister and was confident Mr Rudd was prepared to assist.

Mr Carpenter said his first priority was getting federal support for people who were put out of work but did not normally qualify for Centrelink assistance.

He gave no details of changes being put in place.

The pair discussed the national strategic fuel supplies stored at Garden Island, south of Perth, but Mr Carpenter said it was not yet necessary to seek access to them.

“We have to make sure we don’t do that pre-emptively or unnecessarily, because those fuel supplies are exactly as they are described – they are strategic national fuel supplies normally there because of disaster or a complete breakdown in the liquid fuel supply,” he said.

Mr Rudd said the Defence Minister had the power to make available extra diesel supplies for power stations in the west.

“We will invoke the provisions of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act if required,” he told parliament yesterday. “This act provides the Australian Government with the authority to prepare for and manage a national liquid fuel supply emergency.

“During such a situation, the Minister for Resources and Energy can control the production, transfer and stock levels of crude and liquid fuel.

“We … are advised by the (WA) Premier that action involving the invocation of that act is not required at this time.”

 

 

A postscript to Carpenter’s power appealathon the other day. If we are all cutting our power reduction, why did he appear on TV? He should have had a letterbox drop. Or posted notices on all those soon-to-be redundant power poles. 

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