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Barnett should back NEG enhancements

  • Liberals hopelessly divided on politics in NEG negotiations
  • Barnett can’t explain because he doesn’t understand
  • Energy Minister committing to billions without even a business case

Energy Minister Guy Barnett should back Labor’s enhancements to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) because they will support Hydro Tasmania, as well as the business case for both pumped hydro and the second Basslink interconnector.

Labor State Governments have suggested that the National Energy Guarantee includes that:

  • Emissions reduction targets can only be allowed to increase over time and never go backwards
  • Future targets will need to be set by regulation
  • The targets will need to be set every three years, three years in advance
  • Establishment of a transparent registry, with access by regulators and governments to ensure the NEG is working in the best interests of consumers.

Shadow Energy Minister David O’Byrne said Tasmanian Labor supports that position because enhanced regulatory focus is good for the state and Hydro Tasmania will undoubtedly benefit as mainland dirty power producers continue to become less competitive.

“If Guy Barnett was really interested in putting Tasmania first he would support Labor’s position, rather than continuing simply bowing down to his Federal colleagues,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“Guy Barnett is blindly signing to a deal that from the modelling doesn’t include any Tasmanian renewable energy projects.

“The proposal Malcolm Turnbull is asking the states to sign up to will smash renewables, cost jobs and push prices higher.
“The influence of Eric Abetz, an unhinged coal energy supporter, on the Tasmanian Liberal Party cannot be allowed to influence Tasmanian Government policy – pro-clean energy policies are good for Tasmania and so our government should support it.

“Labor is the party with the vision to invest in our future and it concerns me that the Premier has put Guy Barnett in charge of this critical portfolio.

“Guy Barnett is all at sea trying to explain his energy policy because he doesn’t understand his portfolio.

“Australia’s renewable energy future is inevitable, with 42 per cent of electricity projected to come from renewables by 2030 even without any pro-renewables national electricity policy.

“Tasmania is the home of renewable energy in Australia.  Tasmanian Labor supports enhanced renewable targets because not only do they help to address climate change, but they’re good for our state’s electricity assets.

“Renewal energy is the future of electricity generation not just because it is better for the environment, but because it will be cheaper than old coal power.  It is a shame there are dinosaurs in the Liberal Party who will never accept that.”