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Labor ready to turn up Tasmania’s energy advantage

  • Liberals have failed to seize energy opportunities, put energy security at risk        
  • Labor will implement innovative policies to drive efficiency and lower electricity prices      
  • Significant potential job creation from Labor’s energy strategy        

RESTORING TASMANIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE- Putting People First

A majority Labor Government would restore Tasmania’s renewable energy advantage by putting smart policies in place that capitalise on technology and drive down the cost of electricity for consumers.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said her government will seize opportunities the Liberals have neglected.

“Tasmania’s got a huge natural advantage when it comes to renewable energy but the Liberals have squandered golden opportunities,” Ms White said.

“Not one major renewable energy project has been completed in the past four years.

“Private investors have been left frustrated by a lack of urgency from the Hodgman Government.

“In contrast, Labor would create a more diverse energy generation system to reduce power bills, protect our energy intensive industries, provide energy security in times of drought and enhance the case for a second Bass Strait interconnector.”

Ms White said a key initiative in Labor’s energy policy was a designed to help Tasmania’s agriculture sector capitalise on its ability to generate and use its own power.

“Farms are producing their own electricity through solar and wind installations, but as it stands their generation can only be used to offset costs behind one meter.

“A majority Labor Government will work with TasNetworks to change the policy so that energy generated at one site can be used across all meters on the same property, provided it is used in real time.

“It is estimated the policy change could unlock more than $20 million in direct on-farm investment.”

Other initiatives contained in Labor’s energy policy include:

  • Within 12 months of a Majority Labor Government, we will ensure that energy prices are linked more closely to Tasmania’s cost of production, which is amongst the lowest in the country.
  • Labor will set a target to generate more than 120 per cent of Tasmania’s energy needs from renewable sources within 5 years, making Tasmania the renewable energy state and meaning we can sell excess renewable energy interstate.
  • Labor will put control back in the hands of energy users by enabling the development of distributed energy. We’d set a Distributed Energy Target to increase on-site energy installations by more than 80 per cent from 120MW to 220MW by 2022.
  • Labor will reinvest $25 million in dividends from TasNetworks to fund a range of initiatives to take advantage of technological advances in renewable energy generation and storage.
  • Labor will ask Government Business Enterprises to review executive bonuses and ensure that, if they are paid at all, they are linked to operational efficiencies and reductions in energy costs for households and small businesses rather than company profits.
  • Labor will ensure every new public housing property built will have solar panels and batteries installed – adding up to 1000 installations over six years.
  • Labor will create a virtual power plant of connected homes, businesses and government buildings capable of contributing to the state’s energy security.
  • Labor will provide energy efficiency upgrades for two thousand low-income families around the state.
  • Labor will install 1000 heat pumps into the homes of tenants in the oldest public housing properties.
  • Labor will commit $7.5 million to roll out a staged plan to make Tasmania a leader in electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Labor will use proven initiatives like the Payroll Tax Incentive Scheme to attract new industries and employers to Tasmania.

“These are just some of the initiatives a majority Labor Government would implement to capitalise on Tasmania’s natural energy advantages,” Ms White said.

“We’d keep key assets like Momentum and Entura in public hands to ensure the state’s energy expertise is maintained and Labor will not privatise any government owned energy business.

“And we’d never repeat the mistakes of the Liberals when it comes to energy security assets like the Tamar Valley Power Station.

“The energy crisis cost taxpayers $180 million, undermined business confidence and showed how reckless the Liberals were to risk reliable supply of electricity.

“Tasmania needs leadership in energy to keep our energy security intact but to also seize the opportunities available to us as a renewable energy powerhouse.”

RESTORING TASMANIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE- Putting People First