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SA power failure requires a unified local and national solution

"All efforts should be taken at a local and national level to avoid a repeat of the considerable cost and inconvenience to business and the community from the critical power failure in South Australia," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said today.

"The blackout adds a sobering new dimension to SA's power woes, which have been undermining confidence and causing major price spikes for some time.

"The storm damage to power lines has been severe and many individual businesses will have incurred big costs due to the power outage occurring in the middle of production processes and we will be talking to members to assess the fuller implications.

"It is hard to accept that the entire state is vulnerable to shutdown in a critical incident. Dealing with this situation needs to be a national priority and we are talking to all concerned to ensure future disruptions are minimised.

"The events will need to be reviewed to see how the system performed, how it might be improved, and how often we should anticipate comparable challenges to the network.

"However, cost will need to be a top consideration in any response, especially considering the experience in NSW and Queensland where electricity network costs exploded when reliability standards were tightened in response to blackouts, without properly considering the full costs. The last fraction of a percent of reliability is the most expensive.

"The SES, Electranet, SA Power Networks and AEMO deserve great credit for rapid response under extraordinary conditions," Mr Willox said.

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347