The following is a summary of what family friends living in a Sydney suburb in 1950 and 1951 endured for those years with electricity rationing. Their suburb was geographically large but not at that time heavily populated, and there was no reticulated gas available for cooking or heating. There were scheduled blackouts on two evenings a week (Monday to Friday) from 4.30pm to 7.45pm, plus sometimes on a third evening, and a scheduled blackout every Sunday from 8.45am to 1.45pm. Note: Official records which they subsequently looked up do not acknowledge this level but they kept daily diaries for those years. There may have been morning blackouts during the week but as all family members had left the house by 7.10am to get to work and school they were not recorded. I certainly hope the current situation regarding electricity supply in affected states does not descend to this level. I was dismayed to read of government backing for the controversial Narrabri gas project to go ahead. Gas is an emissions-intensive fossil fuel and not viable long-term. But this project looks more like a plan for gas as a permanent fixture, than as a transitional energy source. In 2020 there was a record number of submissions (over 20,000) opposing the project. This included strong opposition from the local community. Farmer Margaret Fleck has described the expansion of gas mining in the region as "a farmer's worst nightmare". Once again, the community is not being listened to. What has changed? Mr Barr where do our priorities belong? I would like a permanent surgical unit for gynaecological oncology in the nation's capital to be the top priority. The government needs to do something quickly to fix our power crisis. The editorial in Friday's The Canberra Times ("We need a hard look at the energy crisis", canberratimes.com.au, June 17) stated that Australia's largest power station, Eraring, is running out of coal. As Australia is one of the largest coal producers in the world how can we possibly be in a situation where we can't supply coal to our own power stations? The government needs to pass a law that coal and gas companies must provide enough coal and gas for domestic use before they can provide any for export. The price for this coal and gas for domestic consumption should reflect extraction and processing costs and not be tied to the inflated international price. Western Australia has done this for gas; the federal government needs to do it nationally. I guess this is what we get when governments privatise public utilities. Zed Seselja losing his seat to independent senator David Pocock should provide a wake-up call to the Canberra Liberals. The Canberra Liberals are the most conservative branch in Australia. Unless they change their political views, there is no hope they will win the next ACT election. It used to be "what happens when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow?" Now, the inevitable has happened the question should be "what happens when the price of coal and gas gets so high energy producers cut back on the amount of coal and gas fired power?" Even if the reactionary LNP stick-in-the-muds had been able to subsidise upgrades of existing plants or build new ones, we'd still have this internationally-induced price hurdle. We probably haven't missed the boat in transitioning to renewables supported by new generation batteries but we're going to need to paddle our barbed wire canoes pretty hard lest we get stuck in that we'll known creek with the paddle lost overboard.