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SELECT COMMITTEE ON FUEL AND ENERGY
30/06/2009
Issues relating to the Fuel and Energy Industry

CHAIR —Welcome. I invite you to make a brief opening statement and then the committee will ask you some questions.

Mr Tuckey —Thank you. I have distributed to each of you the graphics of a PowerPoint presentation I originally prepared for the Liberal Party. It now has additions. There is the story, the references on which it is based and some further reading on what is going on in the world in more detail in regard to these matters. The attempt that is made in these particular documents is to prove that there is a better way than attempting to bludgeon the community into complying with carbon reduction schemes by way of an emissions trading scheme.

An emissions trading scheme is by its nature a licence to pollute. It depends on how much money you are prepared to pay for the privilege. The thought that the entire Australian community or some of its more significant polluters will take the option of, for instance in coal fired electrical generation, spending billions to find out if they can or cannot go down the carbon sequestration road is unlikely when in fact they have the capacity to pass that cost on to consumers—a captive market. They will only be drawn to doing something if alternative measures, including natural gas, become more competitive.

At the Darwin conference of APPEA it was notable that a paper was given, I think, by Santos saying that they alone could achieve a 20 per cent reduction in emissions from electrical generation within the 2020 limit. The point being also that you have the comparison of my proposal, an emissions trading scheme and renewable energy targets. There is a difference when if there is a target regime, the various emitters have a responsibility to meet it. But they still have some money to do it. An ETS takes the money off them and then says, ‘With your depleted resources, you’d better do something about it.’ I am also terribly concerned that we are actually giving credibility back to the screen jockeys and hedge funds who I understand are currently being blamed for the disaster we have. They will have a new opportunity and any profits they make will be a cost to the community over and above the price of carbon.

My position is as such: when one looks at these documents, one will see firstly that Australia is unable to influence its own climate. It does not matter what it does. Secondly, Australia has one of the largest renewable energy resources in the world, being tidal energy—that argument commences on page 6. The map of the Kimberley shows 6,000 lineal kilometres of coastline, a distance as the crow flies of over 1,000 kilometres, which raises the question why we would not exploit a mean tidal movement within that region of 11 metres twice a day. So a huge tidal energy resource exists. The downside, which I want to address, is that it is very remote from a lot of resources.

If you look at page 7, you will see that Sir John Horton, who is the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has been pursuing the British government to get into tidal power and there is evidence contained herein that, in fact, they are now doing it, particularly based on the Severn Estuary. When you look at the potential as identified by CSIRO some years ago, on page 11 you will see that the pale blue is total Australian energy. That includes the fuel you put in your motor car. The purple line is the potential CSIRO put on that tidal region. If you go to No. 1, that is the comparative productivity of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. As I often say, my finger is the total of tidal energy and the fingernail is the relative Snowy.

We point out that the French have been producing tidal power for 40 years. We point out that a very comprehensive proposal was put to the Philippines—as identified by Murdoch University, page 13—where a different type of generating unit called the fence line system was costed out to produce 2.2 gigabytes of electricity at a cost of US$ 2.8 billion, which in terms of the generating cost is about equivalent to coal. As identified on page 16, it utilises the same technology as the wing of an aeroplane. Being vertical in the tidal flow, it operates much like a revolving door having, no detrimental influence on fish or movement of silt or anything of that nature. As indicated, it can be built to various sizes of generation capacity. On page 17 there is evidence of the efficiency of that aeroplane wing. If lifting a 680 tonne A380 off the ground is not enough, that yacht achieved, as we point out, 23 kilometres an hour using the same sort of wing technology.

Technology has had a lot of people give it a tick, including Jim Fulton, executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation—page 18. There is such an interest internationally now on tidal power generation that even NASA have become involved. Their argument is that you just use the tides to pump water up to a hydroelectric type generator on the land. The World Energy Council is an internationally recognised body first founded in 1923—page 20. It is an adjunct of Oxford and Princeton universities. They published a table of tidal power potential around the world—page 21. In Australia, Secure Bay and Walcott Inlet get a mention. That is one of the very many opportunities that exist up there. Their projection is that that would have the capacity to produce about 4.3 gigawatts of installed capacity. That is 120 per cent of the capacity existing in WA today and something like 8.3 terawatt hours. A terawatt is an awful lot of electricity.

On page 22 there is a photograph of just how vicious, if you like, those tides are as they move in and out. A fisherman told me that he got caught in one once in a 58-foot boat and it threw the full 44-gallon drums of fuel off the back of his boat. It is a very large resource, and there are some maps there that further prove that fact.

The most interesting facts nevertheless, which are very significant to your terms of reference, come from the comparisons in the document. Tidal power is predictable, perpetual and reliant only on the movement of the moon. If you have to back it up, as occurs with wind energy and all other forms of renewables, you know exactly when a coal-fired or other generator has to come on stream whereas with wind power—the standing joke—the reality is that, because of its variability, if you are backing it up with coal-fired power you just maintain the steam pressure. You burn exactly the same amount of coal because you have not got the flexibility in the generating capacity to do otherwise.

I identify how you will get that power to the places of consumption. We put some lines on a map. We consulted with Asea Brown Boveri, ABB Australia as they are now known, who are currently building a 2,000-kilometre high-voltage DC powerline for the Chinese which will bring all their Three Gorges Dam and other renewables to their manufacturing sector. As you know, none of these lines exceed 2,000 kilometres. ABB’s advice was that you would bring the power down into the west and south-west power grid and then you would extend it across to Roxby Downs. That, of course, opens up all sorts of opportunities for South Australia because BHP with their massive growth at the Olympic Dam facility are talking about exporting concentrates. Were they to have all that additional power available and of a renewable nature, they might go on refining copper, which of course is good for jobs.

There is a lot of other information in here, but interestingly HVDC power—and of course super grids are being created all around the world at the moment—is so much more efficient than HVAC and more particularly much more efficient than pumping gas. As we point out commencing on page 39, the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline is 1,845 kilometres long and requires 10 compressor stations and a total of 225 megawatts. In other words, the equivalent of one coal fired power station is used to pump the gas over that journey, yet when we get it down to Perth we use 30 per cent of it to generate electricity, much of which we send back up the line with highly inefficient high-voltage AC powerlines.

The state government has just been confronted with taking more power than they thought they would from the southern regions into the midwest for the iron ore and other opportunities that exist there. In fact, the capital cost of the powerline is $700 million. Of course, the gas pipeline passes through the region. The Premier has had a flash of inspiration and said, ‘Why don’t we build the gas generator there?’ That is not a bad idea.

There is a section commencing on page 40 in a paper entitled ‘Transport or transmit?’—written by Alexandre Oudalov, a Swiss—putting the argument very clearly, as I read it, that if you are going to generate gas-fired electricity you put it on the beach, in the case of offshore gas, and then send that power down the HVDC line. That is by far the most efficient, with minimal line losses, and one-third of the capital cost. As a consequence you get your electrical energy to the consumer without relying on the gas pipeline and without that massive energy loss. The CO2 emissions, as admitted by the gas pipeline owner in their submission on the cost, is 690,000 tonnes a year. That is only for 2,000 kilometres. There are 25,000 kilometres of natural gas pipelines around Australia. They are all wasting energy, which is of course a cost, and there are the emissions associated with it, all of which could be replaced if government looked at these opportunities and usefully the HVDC transmission grid as its contribution to saving the planet, if you like.

As things are, the very next kilowatt of energy was planned to be generated in the Pilbara—and, by the way, while they are up there they might start generating energy for their own uses at a much more significant level from an emissions point of view. But if you were prepared to build an HVDC line down to Perth from the Pilbara you would get massive savings and you would be protecting the industry of the south-west. When Varanus blew up, if all the electricity taken from that gas pipeline was being generated in the Pilbara and coming independently down that line there would have been no cutbacks around the south-west of Western Australia; there would have been enough gas for people who need heat. And if that line was built, when the Browse gas comes ashore at James Price Point you could put additional generating capacity in prior to the building of the LNG plant and extend the HVDC line, but suddenly you are on the doorstep of this massive tidal region. You then have a situation where it would be economic for private enterprise to build generating capacity in tidal areas and you could match the two up.

In this paper I go as far as talking about partnering tidal energy with coal. I do not see any reason whatsoever that coal cannot produce 50 per cent plus of our electricity generation in the future. No country has yet talked about reducing their emissions by more than 50 per cent, so why wouldn’t you look to the future in renewables and gas and keep the coal-fired energy going because it is cheap? You could easily achieve 20 per cent. I have worked out on good information and good references and sources, and I think it is worth putting on the record, that $10 billion would have produced 4.2 gigawatts of generating capacity and those HVDC lines that I spoke about. If you doubled that, it would be less than the $900 cheque payout and would have delivered a long-term benefit. If we have to go into debt further for this purpose, you would do so with a statutory authority. Outside the boundaries that are considered commercial in this day and age, if you are prepared to borrow money, as governments do, over a longer period, this would be self-funding. I have worked out that using HVDC, with efficiencies within the electrical energy system and with renewable power, for every billion you spend you will get a one per cent reduction in emissions. I think that is supported by all the figures I have put in this document.

This is a very comprehensive document. I surprised myself with the time it took to do it and what we have come up with. For costings of high-voltage DC lines, we quote a world-leading paper produced with assistance from ABB, who are the world leaders in this technology. I have talked to Mr Bo Nilsson in their office in Brisbane. I would encourage you, if you were going back to that region, to get him to come and talk to you because he has given me a lot of advice for this paper. He pointed out that the figures quoted here are two or three years old. When we did our numbers we put on a 30 per cent contingency fee. I make the point that, if you want to double it, it is still cheap. There is a costing table on page 62.

The great advantage of bringing tidal energy into the mix is that it is, as I said, predictable and perpetual. You can say, ‘When are you going to bring uranium into it?’ I think it is patently obvious that the Chinese, to the extent they are prepared to participate in carbon reduction, will do so by using renewables—more particularly, nuclear energy. I think they have 20-odd stations on order or under construction at the moment. That, to me, is the solution for Australia. As I pointed out, we could achieve those targets. If there was no ETS but, yes, an RET, I think these opportunities would be there. My view, and the precedent for such investment set by government over the years, is that government has to at least fund those original two powerlines.

By the way, HVDC crosses the Bass Strait now. It is bipolar. You can send electricity in both directions. With those powerlines I mentioned, you would be interconnecting Latrobe Valley brown coal electricity generation with the Pilbara or, for that matter, further up. There is a huge bauxite deposit in the Kimberley, and aluminium is known as congealed electricity. You could have a vertically integrated industry there and put a stamp on every ingot saying, ‘This has been produced with renewable energy.’ So there is a huge opportunity in the future to exploit those resources once you have the energy. To anybody who wants to talk up electric motor cars in their various formats, including the hydrogen fuel cell, I would say that if Australia was to switch over to them 100 per cent we would need a doubling of energy generation anyway.

So my view, as I have worked through this over time, is that high-voltage DC transmission is what is needed to get tidal power to where people want to use it. I now see it as a major efficiency initiative within the overall electricity-generating network. I made the point about brown coal power. This forthcoming summer, Western Australia will have a three hours time difference from Melbourne. Therefore, instead of starting to shut down your brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley, with HVDC you would run them flat out at peak efficiency for another three hours because they would be coming into the high-demand system of Western Australia. That in itself has two achievements. You get capital efficiency and if you can run these plants at maximum capacity then in fact their emissions produced per unit of electricity are less.

That is it in brief. I think more particularly on this issue of transport or transmit the case is made in all of the papers that, even when carting coal by train, with the technology that is now available in HVDC you should always build your generators as close as possible to the source of whatever energy you are using.

By the way, HVDC have what they call converter stations. These cost $250 million each. It is long-distance technology, but they are very helpful to other forms of renewables, more particularly wind. South Australia is quite a good prospect for wind. I picked up the South Australian newspaper on Friday at the airport and there was a warning by an expert that they are starting to get too big a percentage of wind. Of course, when that peak demand, particularly for air-conditioners, occurs, they will probably be shut down because it is too hot for them to operate. They start bushfires if they try to operate in weather of too high a temperature. All of a sudden, at the very point when you need them most, the air-conditioners are turned off. So you have to look at those sorts of things, but that is not a problem with the tides. I also think that, whereas with most of these other renewable technologies other parts of the world are well ahead of us, tidal generation is still in its infancy. There are great technological opportunities for Australia to be a world leader in that. As I point out, HVDC are going for it in a big way in Europe, and are taking it across the Mediterranean with opportunities to get heat out of the Sahara Desert and all sorts of things.

So I am really saying that Australia should do this anyway. The terms of reference to the inquiry refer to energy efficiency and things of that nature. It really partners up renewables, gas and coal—they can all be friends and they will all make a contribution. Coal is worthy of retaining because of its cost efficiencies, and no-one else will achieve those levels in Australia. The reality is that, as you grow your energy consumption, particularly in electric vehicles, you will have plenty of opportunity to dilute the coal emissions through adding layers of renewables on the top. But, as to tidal, no-one else can talk gigawatts of electricity.

CHAIR —Thank you very much for that. What are the next steps?

Mr Tuckey —It has concerned me that we have had this focus on emissions trading and we have ignored where government can contribute. The government wants to put double the amount of money into telecommunications than is needed to get a 20 per cent reduction in emissions, which is still the dream target. You could do that twice over with $42 billion. I tell you what: by any means it is the higher priority. We can still get along with smoke signals, but, without an efficient and competitive energy situation in what will be a new environment, Australia will just grind to a halt. My fundamental argument is that government should be the investor in getting the transmission technology in place, whilst obviously negotiating with generators to use it. Of course, it can charge a fee for that. As I said, when you look at the energy being consumed to pump gas around the place, it is gigantic and never talked about. That could be reduced dramatically where that gas is consumed for electricity generation. You are not going to get 100 per cent saving because one of its great assets is that it is used for heat, whether domestic or commercial.

More and more the Western Australian government is talking about putting another 200 megawatts of gas generating capacity at Kwinana power station. It ought to be banned, because the next thing is that someone will be spending $1.5 million a kilometre to put additional pipelines in. There was talk of virtually doubling the distance and connecting Browse. We should think of the emissions involved in the manufacture of every kilometre of that gas pipeline. To bring Browse down to the Pilbara would use the productive capacity of Japan’s biggest steel manufacturer for 18 months. It would have done nothing else. There are similar costs involved in taking that gas to Darwin. You are now aware that in each case the further they pump the gas for no good reason other than to beat native title or something the more pollution occurs. There are the figures.

CHAIR —Do you envisage that, once this project gets off the ground, we would end up with a truly national electricity grid? Western Australia is separate at the moment.

Mr Tuckey —Yes.

CHAIR —In order to be able to feed that energy into this—

Mr Tuckey —Tasmania’s hydro is now connected to the mainland of Australia. Brown coal going into Tasmania is used for the baseload and the hydro is fed back during peak periods on the same wires. Once you connect the gas resources of Western Australia with the eastern states’ grid with HVDC you are a network. Queensland and New South Wales grids are interconnected with HVDC. They did it more because it can also been buried. You would not think of that in these things.

CSIRO gave a presentation one morning about carbon nano fibres. It takes three strands to make the thickness of a hair. It has a much higher conductivity than copper and is of course much lighter and much stronger. If we as a nation want to lead the world in HVDC we might be picking up their technology. It will mean fewer towers. HVDC is only two wires. There is a graph that shows at about 600 kilometres it becomes more economical than HVAC. HVAC, because of the alternating current in the wires, generates heat in the wires to a much greater extent than HVDC does. It has minimal energy losses. So to the extent that you are making electricity from gas you should always be sending it on the wire.

CHAIR —The government is going down the 20 per cent renewable energy target path. If Australia went down this path what proportion of our energy could come from renewables?

Mr Tuckey —All of it. The 20 per cent target is achievable just by building the HVDC line because you would access gas—

CHAIR —We always have coal and we always have gas. What would be the potential proportion of renewables if we went down that path?

Mr Tuckey —If you had it all set up, the Kimberley could replace all of our energy consumption. That is not going to happen, but in simple energy terms it could. You still have a variable capacity. High tide between Cambridge Gulf, where the Ord River flows in, and Derby has a differential of about one hour as the moon comes around.

Baseload is very hard to get out of any renewable. That is why I say you partner it with coal and things like that. If you go to the NASA proposal and you were pumping water as you were generating electricity, you would pump it up on a hill somewhere and during the neap tides when things reverse or slow down you would run the water back down through an alternative generator. All of this costs money, but you can achieve a very high level. The Derby tidal tower proposal failed primarily due to the fact that it was only 45 megawatts and it had two very bad residential customers—not very good customers at all. The whole thing about it, nevertheless, was that they were going to put in backup diesel generating capacity that they thought they would use once a month.

CHAIR —Let me rephrase the question. In terms of our overall energy mix, if this got off the ground and was at full capacity, given that there would still be a reliance on coal, gas and a series of other energy sources, what would you envisage would be the proportion of energy sourced from tidal power?

Mr Tuckey —I believe we would be talking about fifty-fifty by 2050, because of the capital and the technology. You would have 50 per cent of renewables with no emissions and 50 per cent of the cheapest form. That is more than anybody is dreaming of. But, as I said, it is known technology. It is not like trying to capture and pump the carbon component of a coal-fired power station into the ground. I have vague concerns about whether it will stay there. You have to get it to 800 degrees. There are all sorts of things to consider. CSIRO have said the technology is not the problem; it is going to take 20 per cent of the power of your power station to do it. So I think you say to them that they can do better in terms of emissions and particulates, but you balance them into the network, partnering them with gas, which is sort of the middle road.

It is all about being able to get the product to where you need it at a particular time. That is what HVDC does. You get significant emissions reductions by simply improving the efficiency of the system. That is money for jam. You are actually reducing the cost per unit of electricity in the process. But I am insistent that government has to put its hand up and make the first investment. It might do a Telstra; it might do a Commonwealth Bank. People might fight over it, as with toll roads. I do not think industry will put up their hand for a few billions. Until government makes a commitment to it, nobody is going to want to build these remote generators. But, if we did so, we could say that you are not allowed to take electrical generation out of the end of a pipeline. It is a major emitter and it is a major reduction in efficiency.

Senator HUTCHINS —Thank you, Mr Tuckey, for that very passionate presentation. I will throw a few questions at you all at once. You might wish to respond to them when you come back. Are you looking at Commonwealth involvement along the same lines as the Snowy Mountains scheme?

Mr Tuckey —Yes.

Senator HUTCHINS —You said earlier that your submission was a presentation made to the coalition party room. There is a recommendation there. If you do not mind me asking, was that recommendation accepted by the coalition party room?

Mr Tuckey —No. When I say party room, it was a committee. The committee was very keen on it. Let me be honest: we got dragged into the ETS debate. We still think we can fix the ETS. It is a process where government sells licences to pollute. If you can tell me that from thereon it is a worthwhile exercise, I will go ‘he’. An RET sets limits on pollution. You do not need both. The alternative is that with an RET you have not first taken the bloke’s money off him. I do not know how many times we think we can spend the same dollar. So that is a practical thing. But it is my view that government just cannot sit back and say, ‘We’ll give you a system and you will all comply,’ when in fact some are going to leave town. When businesses plead for certainty, I just think they want to know when they can pack their bags. The alternative is for government to act. As I said, it can do it on broadband, where the private sector is pretty well established and Telstra is not short of money. Half of that money, to my mind, following these principles, would deliver a 20 per cent reduction in emissions and probably cheaper electricity over time.

Senator HUTCHINS —You said you believed that by 2050, if this all came about, 50 per cent would be renewable and 50 per cent would be non-renewable.

Mr Tuckey —Yes.

Senator HUTCHINS —Do you have a figure for how much of that renewable tidal power would contribute?

Mr Tuckey —As much as you want to use. The Chinese are building a 6.2 gigawatt transmission line, which is a pretty big transmission line. I am talking about costing it at about 3.5 gigawatt capacity. Suddenly you have to start investing more money but, without a network, I do not believe that business will bother. Some will pass the costs on and others will leave town. The minute that government comes up with a statutory authority to build these power lines—as I said, there is no rocket science involved—and on the condition that those who we want to meet these things become part of it in a generating capacity, I believe we could go to Copenhagen or anywhere else and stick our chest out, because we could actually identify the savings in emissions we will achieve. I do not think we could do that under an ETS; it is just guesswork.

I got the library to do a graph for me on price versus consumption of electricity over the last five years, and the two are on a rising scale—the price is going up and consumption is going up at the same rate. So who says that if you put up the price of electricity we will automatically use less? It just depends on who you can pass the cost on to.

Senator HUTCHINS —Would it be possible to get a copy of that paper for the committee?

Mr Tuckey —Yes. I would have to dig it up again.

Senator HUTCHINS —The committee secretariat could pursue it with your staff. One final question: my observation from our inquiry—and we have been at it on an ETS and a CPRS and every other ‘s’—is that the power people have expressed concern about what they call ‘intermittent’ power supply. One area in which that has come through is wave power rather than tidal power. When we talked to people involved in wave power they suggested that tidal power is not as reliable as wave power because, as you said, it depends upon the movement of the sun. I would welcome your observation on that.

Mr Tuckey —I am not a critic of wave power but, again, I picked up a newspaper the other day and in it there was somebody else’s version, with buoys floating back and forth under the water. They said, ‘These have the special capacity to be tied to the bottom of the seabed if it gets too rough.’ So a storm comes in, you are cold and you want to turn the electric heater on but they have tied all the generators down. That is the first time I have read that. It was published in one of the major dailies in the last fortnight. So that is the point: you need to look at certain circumstances. Carnegie and others openly admit that the south coast is where that would be good technology. It is not suitable as you go north of one coast or the other. But I am not saying that it does not have a place.

By the way, solar in particular will be a very good generator for the rural sector if you want to make hydrogen on your own property. New Holland, the big manufacturer of tractors, has already produced a prototype hydrogen fuel-cell tractor. It was shown at the Paris international agribusiness show. I think they are giving themselves to about 2012 to be selling them. The technology for that needs low-pressure storage containers. There used to be one at the end of every British cricket ground—’He’s now bowling from the gasometer end’—and there was one here in east Perth. Of course, the old-fashioned coal gas was 50 per cent hydrogen.

Hydrogen cannot be easily stored under high pressure. Liquefaction is okay but it is at 280 degrees Celsius or something like that. The 300 to 400 kilowatt buses that were being driven around Perth used compressed hydrogen and burned 50 kilograms of it a day. My vision for the farmer is a relatively simple tractor, which should be quite cheap. The buses had quite a complex transmission system which was energy consuming. The major mining and haulage equipment uses electric hub motors.

I was talking about this to a very practical inventor, who produced nearly 200 four-wheel drive diesel tractors before John Deere and other people got into it. He is a bloke called Laurie Phillips, who resides in Merriden—that is where he built these tractors. I tried to get one of the buses when the previous government here wrecked them. They could not get out of them quick enough because they were costing them an extra few bob. They worked very well and I tried to get one. We were going to see if we could get a grant or something for Laurie to build a fuel-cell tractor. We visualised a chassis with four hub motors and skid steering—a very simple vehicle—but we found out that the smallest horsepower motor that we could buy at that time was 1,000 horsepower. A 4,000-horsepower tractor is a bit more than you require! He came back to me a fortnight later and said: ‘I’ve found the technology. It’s in a Fisher and Paykel washing machine.’ They have no gearbox. Forward and reverse are done by the electronics, as are fast and slow. There are these sorts of issues to it.

When you are on the farm using solar power 365 days a years—to whatever extent you have sunlight—you do not worry about that because you are just electrolysing the water and storing it at low pressure. Then you pump the tractor back up; you have a little high pressure pump and you fill your tanks and away you go. And by the way your electrical generator could be transferable between pieces of equipment.

CHAIR —In terms of our energy mix moving forward, do you think we should keep an open mind about nuclear?

Mr Tuckey —I am not frightened of nuclear. Even in the last election the Labor Party were running around showing people where there was going to be one outside the town of Albany, which is about as far south as you could go in Western Australia. It has got a population of 30,000—

CHAIR —That was the last state election?

Mr Tuckey —so what do they do with any extra power? What I am saying is that the politics of it is not worth the fight. The Chinese have worked out—

CHAIR —Are you talking about the last state election?

Mr Tuckey —It was the last federal election when they were running around there telling everyone that that was where John Howard was going to build a nuclear power house.

CHAIR —And what was your margin after the election? Was it 65 per cent?

Mr Tuckey —I got about 70 per cent.

CHAIR —So the scare campaign against nuclear must not have been that effective.

Mr Tuckey —It did not work. I am not frightened of it and I am not frightened of storing the waste. But I do not focus on it because politics and practicality are the tests. It is one of the reasons, by the way, that I propose a statutory authority. The Native Title Act does not apply to public works. Considering the urgency, the government of the day may choose to go down that road. The power lines are going to go through the desert and as sure as God made little apples somebody is going to want to utilise the Aboriginal people and others to prevent it from happening. Therefore, you need to make it a public work to get it off the ground and going. That is one more reason.

CHAIR —Thank you for your contribution today.

Proceedings suspended from 1.01 pm to 1.58 pm