South Australian battery

Jul 18, 2017

Q. It was recently announced by the South Australian government that technology company Tesla will construct the “world’s largest battery” in South Australia. The battery will store wind energy to be used in high-demand periods, with the aim of increasing the reliability of the South Australian energy grid. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total good idea 73%   79% 70% 82% 69%
Total bad idea 5%   1% 8% 1% 11%
Very good idea 42%   48% 40% 46% 39%
Good idea 31%   31% 30% 36% 30%
Neither god nor bad idea 14%   12% 14% 13% 14%
Bad idea 2%   1% 3% 1% 5%
Very bad idea 3%   <1% 5% 6%
Don’t know 8%   8% 7% 3% 6%

73% agree that the construction of the battery in South Australia is a good idea and 5% think it is a bad idea. Those most likely to think it is a good idea were Greens voters (82%), Labor voters (79%) and university educated (79%).

65% of South Australian respondents think it is a good idea, 8% think it is a bad idea and 22% think it is neither. (note – small sample)

Do we undervalue our public sector innovations?

Sep 11, 2012

Nadine Flood questions whether governments take our science and other publicly funded breakthroughs for granted.

The CSIRO is one of Australia’s most respected institutions. The Bureau of Meteorology is crucial in times of impending climate crisis. They are also part of the public service. And though their specialty is science, other areas of the public sector are also responsible for innovation — from agricultural land use to new ways of fighting tax evasion.

See a brief history of CSIRO achievements from wi-fi to dollar notes.

It’s a concept that is often lost at Budget time when governments keen to trim down costs often take a knife to the public sector. It’s easy pickings if the millions of dollars saved or made by innovations in technology, energy and health fail to be counted as assets.

The CPSU’s Nadine Flood tells 3Q how the CSIRO’s development of wi-fi technology transformed the world and brought $500 million into Australia through patent fees. Yet if the Opposition has its way, crucial funding of the sciences and other public sector innovation would be lost.
Further cuts on the grounds of “efficiency” will have long term effects on our ability to innovate.

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