One notable absence from the increasing amount of pork barreling in Tasmania is about power supply.

The labor party has made some small noise about a feed in tariff but it is so far on the back burner that it will never even get luke warm. The liberals have not even mentioned it so far as I am aware.

It is on the radar of most of the mainland State Governments and NSW is banking on it to help them recover some of their lost credibility in their next election. The WA government is trying to forget that it promised to bring it in as one of their election pledges that helped them get elected.

The Tasmania labor party has trotted out the possibility of another Bass link, though the reasoning for that is not apparent. It could be because they know that Tasmania will possibly have to import even more power from the dirty Victorian power stations to survive and keep on selling power to big business at less than cost as is the current system.

The new wind farm is to be given a reprieve and might even survive after the election unless whoever wins can wriggle out of it.

But as far as looking forward to a reliable sustainable supply the only other option touted is to promote another horrendous option a wood fired power station. It would get all of the forest industry and Gunns on side of course and that has to be a vote winner for whoever gets it up.

The fact that it would further devastate the old growth forest and cause even more global warming would not matter to the interests involved.

A far seeing party that had a mandate could turn Tasmania into a model CO2 neutral powered state and save money in the long run.

First would be to put serious effort and finance into wind farms.

Next would be to promote localized power supply systems by bringing in a healthy feed in tariff for solar, wind or any other sustainable clean method.

It would be a feasible proposition to have a local wind turbine in each local area. To reduce the demand on the existing hydro supply.

One wind turbine mounted for instance on a hilltop near Cygnet, Huonville and even Hobart would make a big difference overall. It would not require a lot of extra infrastructure in the way of high-tension feeder lines but could be fed directly to the grid.

Tasmania has not encouraged any other form of sustainable supply such as wave power even though it would be a very suitable place to use it.

Apart from supplying clean energy it could also be the basis for new industry in the building and operation of the seagoing plant that would be required.

If the present ship building operations were to fall on hard times, as is the situation with our largest ship builder at the moment, they could perhaps diversify into this industry.

Storm bay is after all on the doorstep of Hobart and Bass Strait adjacent to three of the Northern cities where there is a constant demand for sustainable employment.
Robert LePage