West Australian Premier addresses gas crisis in televised broadcast

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Premier Alan Carpenter photograph by Nachoman-au

Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter made a two-minute broadcast on all televisions and radio stations over the gas crisis. The crisis began after a major fire at the Vanarus Island refinery operated by Apache Corporation reduced the available natural gas by 30%.

During the broadcast which was recorded earlier in the day Premier Carpenter said, "this is a serious situation which affects us all."

"While the state government has the power to guarantee gas supplies to essential services and households, some industries and businesses have been hit hard."

"A number of them are being forced to scale back operations and others have temporarily closed."

The Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry predicts that up to 15% of companies will be forced into temporary shut down. A representative from the Property Council of WA, which represents commercial property owners, has said that "we are going to have to get used to cold offices and dimly lit shopping centres"

Western Power today released figures showing that the power consumption has reduced since the crisis started. They said that the daily usage reduction of 40-50 megawatts was a moderate saving, that consumers could do much more.