Protester disrupts SA premier’s last pitch

By , 25/04/2020 19:37

A protester had to be led away after interrupting Premier Jay Weatherill’s final pitch to voters.A lone protester against drilling in the Great n Bight has interrupted South n Premier Jay Weatherill’s final pitch to voters ahead of this weekend’s election.

Mr Weatherill held his press conference at the site of a notorious 2017 confrontation with federal minister Josh Frydenberg over the state’s reliance on renewable energy.

But one year on, his opportunity to spruik his government’s energy policy was foiled when a protester questioned when the premier would take a position on drilling in the bight.

“What will you be telling the people of Kangaroo Island?” the man asked, before being led away by security.

Plans for seismic testing for oil and gas within 90 kilometres of the island were revealed on Thursday.

Mr Weatherill told reporters the decision was a matter for the federal government, but the state would make strong representations about protecting the environment.

“We think the science here is going to make it very difficult for a project of this sort to be successful,” he said.

Friday’s press conference was held at the home of Adelaide man Geoff Perkins, who was among the first to install a solar-powered battery at his house, and has since slashed his power bill.

Mr Weatherill said his government had built the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery, backed the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, and put in place plans for the world’s largest virtual power station, linking solar panels on 50,000 homes.

“Here we are, ending this campaign, two billionaires duking it out about who’s going to have the biggest battery here in South ,” he said, referring to Whyalla steelworks owner Sanjeev Gupta’s plan to build a new battery at Port Augusta, bigger than Elon Musk’s.

“We cannot turn back now. The momentum is growing.”

Mr Weatherill said last year’s confrontation with the federal energy minister showed “genuine leadership”.

“We came here to defend South ‘s reputation,” he said.

“We’d been slagged off by the federal Liberal government uphill and down dale for six months, falsely blaming us for our leadership in renewable energy being the cause of difficulties in our energy system.”

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