I did a Google Search for “Political Triage” and I found something. I am not sure what it is talking about.
So!... This is mine. Political Triage.
It is also called tossing under the bus for politics. And the greater good (the greater good). I came up with the phrase watching the energy debate over the last few weeks – then for 20 minutes in my garage.
I need to tell the story.
A journalist on my driveway described March 16 2017 as one of the hottest political press conferences in 30 years. Big call, but what happened in my garage today was amazing.
Today was a press announcement for a feel-good story about AGL and their Virtual Power Plant.
“Today we begin and new phase in domestic power…” you know the kind of thing.
I have the very first of AGL’s batteries for the Virtual Power Plant. And I like to talk. So let’s talk about it in my garage.
Let’s get a few VIPs! And we did.
Andy Vesey is the big boss of AGL and he is a great guy. I was very impressed with his attitude and commitment to the energy sector.
Elisabeth Brinton is AGLs New Energy person and this is sure enough new energy in my shed.
Philip Keogan is from Sunverge who made my battery.
So we had VIPs from industry. We also had people from the regulators.
Then the premier wants to join us. Hmmm
He arrived and a journo asked if this was gonna be awkward. He had this wonderful smile as he said… “let’s see” or something similar.
I had my few minutes of glory since Josh was running late. Lots of questions. Then it got political – how did I feel about the premier’s announcement? Well I was not there to be political so one of the AGL people dragged me away and moved the focus. I did say that I thought we had lost an opportunity to be amazing but I understood why.
Jay needs a solution quickly. If he gives us my personal favourite solution, the solar furnace, it won’t be ready in time. We will have more power outs, he will lose power (sorry), the other side will get in and destroy his plan anyway. So he throws renewables under the bus in the hope he can fight another day. I get it. I don’t like it – but I get it
Josh arrives and off we go. Officials speak and congratulate each other. Bonhomme all around.
AGL is a hero. I am a hero – not quite a ninja turtle, but a tiny hero. And that ought to be it.
But Josh and Jay in my shed together with 30 journalists… no way! There has to be free for all questions.
Josh speaks first and is not too pointed. Says how the Federal government is doing something big for the whole country and SA ought to be part of it.
Political triage –
Feds throw SA under the bus. They spend 2Bil and NSW will get the benefit. But NSW is a much bigger pie than SA.
I get it. - I don’t like it but I get it.
Toss us under the bus and shore up the NSW vote for next time.
SA has been triaged out of federal plans.
But we have a Jay
There is no federal benefit to SA so he has to look after us cos the big bad wolves in CBR have a whole NSW to worry about.
Political triage means thinking of how to unbenefit the smallest number.
The stoush is on line everywhere. What you can’t see is the salivating press pack. They can’t believe how wonderful this Thursday has become. Some journos will pass an entire career and never see such a live action political smack down.
As an observer, I give the premier the win. But only because he knew he was coming. Poor Josh was blindsided.
Don’t get me wrong – my personal politics aside – all politicos impressed me today as I spoke to them one on one.
Maybe I am easily impressed.
I believe folk go into politics for the best reason. They want to create change and growth for the greater good (the greater good) and I believe that of these guys today.
I am sad we are not fast tracking the solar furnace. I like the concept of pumped hydro but sad it is mostly for NSW.
But today – I am happy being involved with AGL and Sunverge and the Virtual Power Plant. It is a great solution.
Since my few minutes was totally overshadowed by the Jay and Josh stoush, let me make my key points.
The Virtual Power Plant (VPP) lets every householder contribute to a 5MW power plant.
This is a crowd sourced solution and I love crowd sourced ways of solving problems. Air B&B, Uber, Flight Radar 24 all address community issues with the contribution of the community. The VPP lets each individual contribute their share of sunshine to the community power supply.
The VPP is disruptive. It is trying to solve a problem from left field. It is good to scare the regular players. They may come up with a better solution when their bread and butter is threatened.
There is a question no one is asking me. Why would AGL encourage me to not pay them anymore?
This is a great question – even if only I am asking.
It targets one of my reasons for working on this project with AGL. I have mentioned elsewhere how impressed I am with the culture in AGL. Everyone believes that they are involved in something wonderful. Andy (AGL CEO) is obviously doing a great job of inspiring a culture across the company.
But why give up my payments?
I can’t be sure, but I think it is something about a services culture. Move away from things and move to looking after the things. We have seen my field, IT, move to services when things become unprofitable. Perhaps AGL sees power becoming low profit. Maybe they see services as the answer. Flexible business model.
I don’t know if this is the answer but I can see how that could be.
One of my favourite parts of the whole solution is the app.
It is like a fitbit. Once you start with a fitbit you have to get your steps in. It is compulsive.
Once you start with the solar commander app. It is compulsive. You want to be sure you run the dishwasher when the sun is highest. You just need to.
The app is a 1.0 app. But the idea of it connected to a whole internet of things with my aircon, fridge, coffee machine. It is a leap but I love it.
- I don’t have the answers to any of this. I don’t envy our politicos who have to find a solution cos it is not easy. After my little contribution today, all you will see is a fight in my garage. But… my big take away is:
Today, my driveway filled with a gang of people from many sides of politics. They joined reps from enterprise and government. They gathered to make their comment about going forward. They did not agree. Nor should they. If you only ever work with people who agree… you’ll only ever get the best idea you can think of. This gang did not agree and they made it obvious.
But I was there… and I am sure beyond all belief that they all do care. They are all working for a solution for us all. We may not like the direction we end up taking, I actually am saddened by it. But with people who care, working to the best of their collective ability. Living within the political structure that is Australia. We have a chance. I have done my tiny bit and I am proud of it.
I hope that Triage does not mean too many of us end up under the bus… If we do – better bring a torch!