19 August 2014
of the Legislative Council
FINCH question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE
COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
steps is the Tasmanian Government taking to persuade the Federal
Government to keep the renewable energy target at one-fifth of power
production by 2020, given the advantageous position of Hydro
Tasmania in that sector?
plans does the State Government have for a second Basslink cable to
sell power to the mainland, given the uncertainty over the future of
the Bell Bay aluminium smelter?
that last year 70 per cent of Hydro Tasmania's profit came from
selling power to the mainland, what steps is the Government taking
to increase wind power generation in Tasmania?
President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government remains unequivocal in its support
for the Renewable Energy Target (RET) which recognises and rewards
Tasmania's generation of clean renewable energy.
Renewable Energy Target supports Tasmanian jobs and economic growth
and that is why we remain committed to it. The Government has made a
submission to the Renewable Energy Target review team as well as
meeting the review panel. In our submission to the review, the
Government advocated for the continuance of the scheme and for
Tasmania to play a larger role in renewable energy into the future.
The Government is committed to growing the economy and creating jobs,
including effectively utilising our energy assets as an economic
driver to attract investment and retain existing industry.
minister, Mr Groom, has met with Dick Warburton in Tasmania during
the consultation phase of the review and made a formal submission.
Hydro Tasmania has also made a submission to the Warburton review
regarding the importance of the measure to its business.
have advocated strongly on behalf of Tasmania's interests in our
discussions with senior Commonwealth Government ministers, in our
submission to the RET review, and in other forums, and we will
continue to do so.
it is important not to pre-empt the outcome of the RET review, the
Tasmanian people can be assured that the Tasmanian Liberal Government
will fight for Tasmania's interests.
The Government is determined to develop an attractive business
environment in Tasmania for businesses ranging from small to large
industries, like Bell Bay Aluminium. In relation to the RET and large
energy intensive businesses, we have called for a full exemption for
highly tradeexposed businesses, such as Bell Bay Aluminium, to help
ensure these businesses have a secure future in this State.
are committed to our election commitments and will progress an
investigation into a second interconnector. How future demand will be
met is one of many issues being looked at by this Government and will
be dealt with in our whole-of-state energy strategy which we plan to
release by the end of the year. As part of the current review and
development of a new whole-of-state energy strategy, the recently
released issues paper makes specific mention of the potential a
second interconnector could have, and the strategic context from
which further work should be done to consider its feasibility. The
Government is consulting with Hydro Tasmania and TasNetworks on
research done to date, and is continuing assessment of the
The development of future wind power projects will be made on a
commercial basis by investors. With declining demand for electricity
across Australia the economics of wind farms may prove challenging.
However, with coal-fired generators coming to the end of their life
and with gas prices forecast to increase, the prospects for
significant further wind development should not be discounted. The
Tasmanian Government is always looking for opportunities to encourage
investment in Tasmania, particularly investment in renewable energy.
This issue is also being considered as part of the whole-of-state
are a number of potential Tasmanian wind farm developments in the
concept, planning and/or pre-commercial phases. Confidence in a
sustainable and long term RET is vital to these and other renewable