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  • Rikki Lambert

SA Greens are bringing ETSA back*

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

The two state Greens MPs want a public power utility like ETSA - *but it won't look like this

If the South Australian Greens have their way, it will be back to the future by restoring public ownership of the state's major electricity provider.

Greens energy spokesperson Robert Simms declared on Friday that the party would move for a parliamentary inquiry into recreating the Electricity Trust of South Australia.

The party was also critical of the measures in the new Malinauskas Labor Government's

first budget to axe photovoltaic solar panel and battery storage subsidies.

Hear the full interview in the Flow podcast player below:

A previous Liberal government privatised ETSA, but whilst then opposition leader Mike Rann pledged in 2001 'no more privatisations', the corporation now known as SA Power Networks has never returned into public ownership.

As leader of the opposition Peter Malinauskas pledged to set up a public company behind 'green hydrogen' energy enterprise and to launch an inquiry into returning public transport into public ownership. Having scrapped that initiative, Robert Simms MLC says the funding earmarked for that inquiry initiative should be redirected into finding out how to resurrect ETSA:

“Privatisation has failed South Australians and led to skyrocketing prices. A commission of inquiry could examine how to re-establish ETSA as a publicly owned statutory authority that could operate for the benefit of consumers, not shareholders. With so many South Australians struggling with the rising cost of living, any increase in energy prices will hit hard so its vital the Government takes action now.”

Tuesday's federal budget confirmed that nationwide energy prices would rise by 56 per cent over the next two years, despite Labor campaigning prior to winning office in May to reduce power prices by $275.

South Australian energy minister Tom Koutsantonis tweeted on Friday the real driver of the price spike is the market cost of coal:

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has also proposed establishing a public utility as he drives his state to rely on 95 per cent renewable energy by 2035.


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