Tasmanians are rightly proud of our Hydro. Hydro-industrialisation in Tasmania over the past 100 years has given us low-cost, reliable power. It has also had a enormously positive impact on our community, especially in the post-war era where it helped shape the State we live in today.
What the Prime Minister announced yesterday is effectively a second-wave of hydro development that has the potential to rival our previous golden era in hydro development.
Over $3 billion worth of projects are now being tested, projects which could add an extra 2,500MW into the system and provide enough additional power for 500,000 homes.
Tasmania is one of the few places on Earth that is almost entirely powered by renewable baseload energy. We do it better than anyone else, anywhere else. The Prime Minister’s visit yesterday confirmed that and it is our challenge to become the renewable energy battery of the nation, a challenge that the Hodgman Government well and truly accepts.
A second interconnector will be important in maximising Tasmania’s future renewable development and the Tamblyn Report released yesterday shows that there are significant benefits that can be achieved from this, both for Tasmania and the national electricity grid. A significant further expansion of Tasmania’s Hydro capacity will only strengthen the case for a second interconnector which is why the Tasmanian Government is partnering with the Commonwealth Government to fully realise its potential.
Unfortunately, as expected, Labor continues to play politics with energy policy. Again, it highlights how inexperienced Labor really is. Mr Bacon’s comments lack depth and are negative and silly. The Tasmanian energy businesses are already in advanced commercial negotiations in relation to further major wind farm development in Tasmania.
And in relation to yesterday’s announcement, the suggestion that we should start building the most significant addition to our hydro system in nearly 50 years without doing a proper assessment is naïve in the extreme and shows why Labor can’t be taken seriously on the important issues.