The Albanese government is tipping in $3bn to help upgrade and support power grids in regional and rural Western Australia.
Anthony Albanese announced the “new Commonwealth-WA Rewiring the Nation deal” in a speech delivered in Perth on Tuesday morning.
The deal “will provide up to $3bn to expand and modernise the electricity grids in the southwest and the northwest”, Mr Albanese told attendees at a Leadership Matters breakfast hosted by The West Australian newspaper.
“In 2023, Australia has an energy grid built for a time when solar panels powered pocket calculators and not households,” the Prime Minister said.
“A network our predecessors ran down and neglected, watching four gigawatts of generation leave the system while only one gigawatt came in.
“My colleagues and I are working with (WA Premier) Roger Cook and his team to turn this around.”
Mr Albanese likened the energy project to water pipelines built as part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme in the early 20th century.
“Western Australia is helping power our economy,” he said. “Our government is going to invest in powering Western Australia.”
The $3bn will be provided through concessional loans and equity investments through WA’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation and will be used to upgrade the state‘s major electricity grids: the South West Interconnected System and the North West Interconnected System.
“This significant package means we can accelerate the development of key energy transmission projects to facilitate decarbonisation while also building on my government‘s climate action plan and initiatives already under way towards more secure, cleaner, reliable and affordable energy supplies,” Mr Cook said.