The South Australian election has officially started and whilst a number of the issues are localised, others are part of the national agenda.
The fact that South Australia has struggled under 16 years of Labor rule is compounded by the weakness of the Liberal opposition in holding them to account. This has allowed a recycled entrant (20-year ‘no pokies’ MP/ex-senator Nick Xenophon) to insert his unique brand of political showmanship into the mix. At this point it looks to be anyone’s race.
The Australian Conservatives have 35 candidates in the field and we are hoping to shape some political outcomes in lower house seats whilst re-electing Robert Brokenshire MLC to the upper house.
Now some readers may ask why they should care about what happens in South Australia when there are issues of their own to deal with. Simply put, our nation is only going to be as strong as its weakest states and it is in our national interest to see them do as well as they can. That’s why the states’ house – the Senate – debated my motion last Wednesday about SA’s future and wider national economic impact.
South Australia’s policy settings are also important due to the experimental electricity petri dish that it has become. All three of the ‘leading’ political parties signed up to the green dream of 50 per cent renewable energy that has made our power the most expensive and unreliable in the country.
This has seen industry flee to where the cost of business is lower, leading to employment gaps and a prosperity gulf that no Party seems prepared to tackle. In fact, Premier Jay Wetherill has today committed to a 75 per cent ‘Renewable Energy Target’ which will only compound the problem and export its impact to other states.
The eastern seaboard - already struggling with the closure of their principal base load generators - will have to pick up the slack.
This destructive ideological obsession is subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars every year.
Australia’s manufacturing base and prosperity has been powered by low cost and reliable base load electricity generation. It has been stoked by an abundance of quality Australian coal which has fuelled the furnaces of economic progress. However, in this brave new world, that coal can only be dug up and burnt overseas rather than in our own power plants.
In the topsy-turvy world of the watermelon warriors, powering India’s or China’s future is more important than powering our own.
Exporting our resources and future started in South Australia and has crept into almost every state and territory in the country with little political resistance.
We can’t afford to allow that to continue. Common sense needs to find its voice and defend our children’s economic future. For their sake, our nation needs to be the strongest it can possibly be – socially, economically and culturally.
That’s why we need to take a vocal stand against the current zeitgeist. If we are serious about energy security we will open our minds to all forms of power generation, including nuclear, just like dozens of other countries in the world.
We need to remove subsidies for the inefficient and impractical in favour of contractual and regulatory certainty for every new power plant proposal, no matter what its fuel source.
I know electricity is only one aspect of what needs to change in our country, but it is the clearest example of how governments, ideology and ‘good intentions’ do extraordinary damage. We can’t afford to continue down that path any longer. There is a better way and it is up to common sense conservatives to lead that debate.
P.S. Our lead SA candidate Rob Brokenshire MLC is a dairy farmer and passionate advocate for country people. We have some fantastic supporters from farming communities and we’d love to know more about what Australians think about policies that affect farming and regional communities. Please complete this free survey, share it on social media and forward it to your friends. Help us chart a better way for country Australians!