Katter calls on compensation from APA for powerless North West

May 26, 2023

Another widespread power outage at Diamantina Power Station, affecting the entire North West power system from Mount Isa to Cloncurry, has highlighted the issue with APA’s unregulated monopoly, says Katter’s Australian Party leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter.

APA’s Diamantina Power Station is the only source of baseload electricity in the North West region, with the outage seeing around 10,000 customers affected coming at a huge economic and personal cost to businesses and families

The Diamantina Power Station is owned by APA, a private company, who was given an unregulated monopoly over power supply in the region after Energy Minister Mick de Brenni signed off on the sale of the previously Government owned gas fired generator Mica Creek said Mr Katter.

“APA continue to extract huge profits at the expense of households and businesses in the North West.

“In the 2021-22 financial year, APA’s total revenue from power generating assets was up on pervious years to $354 million, with earnings also up to $196 million.

“APA own a number of power generating assets around the country, however Diamantina Power Station Complex is by far their largest and produces the most income.

“The station is less than 10 years old, so clearly not much of this profit goes back into maintaining the station to ensure incidences such as this do not happen.

“In addition to creating everyday chaos, mass power outages like this cost local businesses in ways of consumers, stock and turnover.

There have been multiple system wide outages in the past few years, and these have cost the region tens of millions, not to mention the personal cost to families with disruption to things like education and healthcare.”

“APA have continued to extract huge profits through their monopoly and they’re providing a sub-standard service that would not be tolerated on the east coast.

“There are routes people and small businesses can take to obtain compensation from Ergon, however this is taxpayer money.

“If it is a generator problem, APA should be paying compensation for the impact their neglect is having on the region.

Mr Katter advised that this reiterated the importance of connecting the North West to the national power grid.

“Most other parts of the state are connected to the national power grid”, said the MP.

“The government should be congratulated for committing to build CopperString however they now have to deliver and I’ll be keeping a very close eye on them to ensure they start construction next year as promised.

“CopperString 2.0 will deliver reliability to those living in the North West and it can’t come soon enough.

“Not only that, but it will prevent us from having some of the highest energy prices in the world.

“Instances such as this are “just another day in the North West”, and it should not be that way.