Budget 2017: More detail needed for energy modernisation fund

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has called for more information about an $88.8 million fund to modernise Victoria’s Energy Supply System, listed in today’s state budget.

Mrs Britnell also said $500,000 for Alcoa to investigate long term, reliable, energy supply for the Portland Aluminium Smelter was something she had been calling for since last year’s crippling event.

“We’ve seen what happens when things don’t work and almost suffered the ultimate consequence,” Mrs Britnell said.

“We cannot afford to have the uncertainty we saw last year when this power deal expires in four years. Too many families rely on the direct and indirect jobs the smelter supports to keep food on the table and they need to feel secure.

“All businesses need reliable, affordable power and need to know if this fund will be used to improve access to high voltage power as it travels to the smelter.”

Mrs Britnell sought clarification in the Parliament on Tuesday night about whether the new energy modernisation fund will be used to provide three phase power to the western part of the South West Coast electorate.

“We have businesses in the western part of the electorate that are willing and able to expand, employ more people and boost the region’s economic output, but they are being held back by antiquated power infrastructure,” Mrs Britnell said.

“This is a project farmers and business owners in that area have been calling for a long time, the reports have been done which back up the need.

“I’ve asked the minister to clarify if this fund will be used for this very important project.”

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