Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has expressed disappointment and frustration that the Victorian Government has not conducted any specific modelling to ascertain the impact that the closure of Hazelwood will have on dairy farms.
During last sitting week Ms Lovell asked the Victorian Minister for Agriculture what advise she sought on the impact of the closure of Hazelwood on the dairy industry, and if she would commit her government to protect the industry against load shedding.
“The Minister had to opt to provide a written response to the question because she couldn’t answer it in parliament, and in the written response I received this week she has said that her government has not done any modelling to assess the impact of the closure of Hazelwood on the dairy industry,” Ms Lovell said.
“This is despite the dairy industry being a highly energy-intensive industry that relies on consistent energy supply to ensure that milk remains chilled until pick-up.
“The lack of government reassurance means the industry is going to have to live on a hope and a prayer that electricity will be consistently available – not impacted by load shedding and blackouts – and affordable, even though energy prices will increase due to the Hazelwood closure.”
Ms Lovell said the government has allowed the closure of the Hazelwood facility without understanding the impact it will have on the dairy industry.
“The Minister’s ignorance in not understanding the impact the Hazelwood closure will have on her own portfolio highlights her incompetence in being able to look after the sector that relies on her,” Ms Lovell said.