Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said that the federal government will not be able to come up with a quick solution for the energy crisis plaguing the country’s east coast.
The prime minister held his first national cabinet meeting on June 17 to discuss the crisis with state and territory governors.
“It’s no good gilding the lily and pretending that that hasn’t happened, and it can’t just be fixed overnight,” Albanese told the Seven Network.
“What we’re doing is taking immediate action to assist households and businesses through the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), using the tools which are at its disposal.”
While Albanese said all states and territories had a role to play in the crisis, he confirmed that gas would continue to be an important means to ensure the security of Australia’s energy system.
Meanwhile, the AEMO said that following the suspension of the spot price market on June 15, it was able to manage energy supply to satisfy demand more effectively.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said AEMO’s intervention into the electricity market was necessary while blaming the crisis on the predecessor government.
“We’re in this situation because of the failure of the former Liberal government to do anything in relation to energy policy and the wars which were going on inside their party room,” he told the Nine Network.
“We’ll be working with the large energy companies, the larger users, to try and make sure that we can moderate the supply and demand in the market. We’re working our way through this crisis.”
In the meantime, the AEMO said the risk of power shortages had gone for now.
“There have been significant improvements in AEMO’s certainty of generator availability and limitations,” it said on June 16.
“Despite this, challenges remain in the energy sector.”
Authorities have told Australian households to prepare for more power challenges in the upcoming weeks, with NSW energy consumers asked not to turn on heavy appliances between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to conserve energy and relieve the pressure off the grid.
Speaking of the energy crisis, Nationals leader David Littleproud said the issues impacting the energy sector were more recent and not a result of the previous coalition government’s nine years in power.
“This is something that’s only just emerged over the last 100 days when (Russian President) Vladimir Putin crossed the border into Ukraine,” he told the Nine Network.
“It’s been exacerbated by the fact that a number of power stations had to have repairs and annual maintenance. It’s all come together at one juncture.”