Engineers warn proposed cuts to Queensland’s energy regulation by the Australian Energy Regulator will result in network deterioration and increased risk of electrical network fires. In its submission to the Australian Energy Regulator, Professionals Australia said proposed cuts will result in compromised safety, reliability, quality and professional capacity across the sector.
“Queensland’s energy companies will not have the regulatory oversight required to keep households, property and networks safe if these cuts go ahead,” said Chris Walton, CEO of Professionals Australia.
“We outline a number of serious concerns in this submission. When you cut regulatory capacity you reduce standards and you are left with an unreliable and unsafe power network.
“Energy distribution businesses in Queensland will be forced to restructure and cut jobs. The sector will inevitably lose skilled experts and professional capacity. Technical experts are crucial. They make sure states can deliver safe and reliable power services to meet peak demand.
“Queensland is a geographically dispersed state with unique energy demands. Floods, cyclones and bushfires regularly cause disruption. For rural and remote Queenslanders, reliable power supply is paramount.
“If these changes go ahead we will eventually see extended catastrophic network failures. When it comes to power supply, the best interests of industry and the community must be put ahead of cut-cutting.
“We want to see a detailed risk analysis on the impact of these proposed cuts to community safety. Cutting energy infrastructure results in network deterioration, and we are not convinced Queensland’s network businesses will be able to meet their legal and regulatory requirements.
“Achieving efficiencies in power delivery is important. Although it is short-sighted to introduce funding cuts that result in the industry losing experienced professionals who can recommend and implement efficiency improvements.
“Engineers call on the Australian Energy Regulator to protect the community’s long-term interests instead of just responding to short-term political pressure around electricity prices,” said Mr. Walton.
Media contact: Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857