More needs to be done to protect Australian industry from events such as the severe storms that have lashed South Australia over the past few days, according to the Future Business Council.
The Business Council believes that major investment to better protect essential infrastructure is urgently needed.
“Every business in South Australia has gone without power. The impact this will have on the state’s economy is immeasurable at this stage, but it’s safe to say the cost to the local economy will soar into millions of dollars,” said Future Business Council CEO, Tom Quinn.
“Mega storms like that are becoming the new normal under climate change. Shutting down the entire grid is not a plan for the future. We need urgent investment in a grid that is capable of withstanding increasing extreme weather, whether that’s storms, floods or bushfires.”
Engineers Australia agrees with the Business Council’s sentiment, and has stated that “our current energy security policy settings are insufficient”.
“Our current energy debate is framed in a narrow way, limiting energy security discussions to a few issues,” said Neil Greet, Engineers Australia spokesperson.
“The areas of energy-related concern, such as agriculture, water, sustainability and social policy, do not usually fall within the boundaries of what’s deemed to be energy security. We need to change this narrow view or problems like we’re seeing in South Australia will continue to occur.”
Greet maintains that a resilient energy network can adapt to all manner of extreme circumstances, “whether that be climate change, natural disasters or deliberate damage or interference”.