The Electricity Supply Amendment (Emergency Management) Act 2017 (NSW) ('the Act') has been assented to on 23 November 2017, and has commenced on the date of assent. The Act is for the purpose of providing for electricity supply emergencies and to create a streamlined framework for emergency management powers.
The Act comes from consultation with the NSW Energy Security Taskforce ('the Taskforce'),. The Taskforce found in its , released on 22 May 2017, that the Minister for Energy and Utilities ("the Minister") was unable to act with speed and efficiency to address emergency energy issues. This Act implements that recommendation by the Taskforce by providing for measures so that the Minister can address emergency supply issues efficiently.
The Act amends the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (NSW) ('the principal Act')and the Energy and Utilities Administration Act 1987(NSW). Under the Act, the Premier of NSW has powers to declare that there is an electricity supply emergency if they are satisfied that the supply of electricity to all or a part of the State is significantly disrupted or if there is a real risk of significant disruption. Under the declaration, the administering minister of the principal Act will:
Authorised officers appointed by the Minister will have power to enter premises and investigate to determine whether a direction by the minister has been complied with.
The Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said in his second reading speech that the electricity supply issues during the February 2017 heatwave demonstrated that there was a need for simple and fast options to manage electricity shortages. He also stated:
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Electricity Supply Amendment (Emergency Management) Act 2017 (NSW), Bill, and second reading speeches as published on TimeBase LawOne.
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