Natural Resources & Energy

Natural Resources

Principles for managing our natural resources

  • Labor believes that Tasmania’s abundant renewable resources are one of its natural advantages and will therefore always be an important part of the State’s economy.
  • Labor recognises that Tasmania’s resource industries are fundamental to Tasmania’s ongoing economic prosperity and jobs.
  • Labor believes that it is both necessary and possible for resource industries to complement or coexist with tourism and with the preservation of Tasmania’s high conservation environmental values.
  • Labor believes that ensuring the continuation and success of Tasmania’s resource industries relies on a balance between access to and sustainability of resources.
  • Labor believes that for every resource extracted in Tasmania, the maximum value possible from that resource should be sought.
  • Labor recognises that major infrastructure and downstream processing projects have an important role in adding value in the processing of natural resources.
  • Labor will continue to support projects that add value to Tasmania’s natural resources provided they meet stringent environmental, social and economic guidelines for approval.
  • Labor will maximise the benefit to Tasmanians of Tasmania’s resource industries by:
    • developing skills and training of the local workforce to meet the needs of resource industries; and
    • encouraging local financial interests to invest in resource industries.

Mining

  • Labor recognises that Tasmania is rich in mineral resources.
  • Labor will promote the balanced development of mineral resources taking into account economic, environmental and social issues.
  • Labor welcomes and supports the decision of the Australian Government to support a heritage listing within the Tarkine that does not restrict current or future mining or mineral exploration activities.
  • Labor will encourage mining companies to support social and economic development in the communities around mine sites.
  • Labor will promote geological and geoscientific research to identify new opportunities for the extraction of subterranean resources.
  • Labor will work with industry to ensure the protection of the safety, health and welfare of workers in the mining industry as well as the populations living in proximity to their operations.
  • Labor will conduct research that will contribute to best practice in safety for workers in the mining industry by improving the prediction and mitigation of geophysical hazards.
  • Labor will work with the mining industry to facilitate recreational fossicking.
  • Labor will minimise the impact of mine sites on the surrounding environment.
  • Labor will ensure rehabilitation of mine sites so that they are returned as close as possible to their previous state.
  • Labor will work with the Australian Government to support the mining industry in adapting to meeting the challenges faced in dealing with the issue of climate change.

Forestry

  • Labor believes that Tasmania’s forest industry has a vibrant ongoing future as a result of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and the security of market access and guaranteed wood supply that it will deliver.
  • Labor believes that Tasmania’s forest practices are world leading.
  • Labor believes that the future of Tasmania’s forest industry rests in market access through adapting to changing market preferences, resource security, continuous improvement in sustainable practices, and innovative value-adding.
  • Labor supports the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement as the best way forward for the long term economic and environmental sustainability of the forest industry.
  • As part of the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement, Labor will put in place processes to ensure the durability of the agreement.
  • Labor will structurally separate Forestry Tasmania in a way that ensures its long term future and allows it to focus on its commercial activities of servicing its customers and growing and managing Tasmania’s wood production forests.
  • Labor will develop a comprehensive forest plantation strategy.
  • Labor recognises the economic and cultural value of Tasmania’s special species timber and will ensure an ongoing supply of that timber to the woodcraft industry.
  • Labor will facilitate new, regionally-based investment projects that add value to our forests and forest products, including research and development into alternative uses for forest residue.
  • Labor remains committed to the development of a pulp mill to create jobs and further add value to our timber residues.
  • Labor will ensure that the sustainable management of our Permanent Production Zone forest maximizes the social and economic benefits to the Tasmanian community, including the provision of craft material, water, horticultural products, and access for beekeeping and recreation.
  • Labor will ensure that our forests are a safe workplace providing skills, personal development opportunities, and appropriate rewards.
  • Labor will promote the appropriate re-vegetation of catchment areas, farmlands, and cleared land.
  • Labor will support the integration of tourism initiatives into multiple use planning for our forests.
  • Labor will ensure the application of the Forest Practices Code leads to sustainable forest practices.
  • Labor will support the attainment and retention of Forest Stewardship Council certification for public native forest management and harvesting in Tasmania in accordance with the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.
  • Labor will support research to better understand how Tasmania’s forests contribute to the State’s carbon balance.
  • Labor will support research that minimises the environmental and health impacts of regeneration burns.

Fisheries/Aquaculture

  • Labor recognises the important economic and social contribution that marine and inland fishing make to Tasmania’s regional and coastal communities, and supports the use of management strategies to sustain this contribution.
  • Labor will use an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management based on the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
  • Labor will support the development of a balanced strategy that includes the Tasmanian Marine Protected Areas Strategy whilst providing fair and equitable access to all those with interests in fish and fishing.
  • Labor will continue to support research and assessment of Tasmania’s fisheries and their habitats.
  • Labor supports the use of management plans for the commercial fishing industry to monitor and maintain the sustainability of fisheries.
  • Labor will work closely with the Australian Government to ensure that Tasmania’s fisheries are not detrimentally impacted by offshore fishing practices.
  • Labor supports the Australian Government’s decision to implement a two-year ban on large trawling vessels such as the FV Abel Tasman pending further scientific study into their impacts on fisheries, by catch and localised depletion.
  • Labor supports an expanding aquaculture industry, subject to appropriate environmental controls, to produce and export more of Tasmania’s world class salmon. Labor welcomes the Australian Government’s decision to allow expanded marine farming in Macquarie Harbour.
  • Labor will continue to work with industry to protect the Tasmanian marine environment from pests and diseases.

Agriculture

  • Labor supports the continued development and expansion of the agriculture industry in Tasmania consistent with sustainable land and water use.
  • Through its Economic Development Plan, Labor will develop effective marketing strategies that capture and respond to information about national and international market trends, concentrating on changing consumer preferences. In the Asian Century, Labor will pay particular attention to capturing opportunities to market agricultural products to the expanding Asian region.
  • Labor will continue to support the development of Tasmania’s water infrastructure to protect Tasmanian businesses from the effects of drought and provide the surety that will underpin future growth in the State’s agricultural sector
  • Labor will promote ongoing, effective stewardship of environmental values on private land.
  • Labor will continue to build community partnerships to improve the capacity and confidence of rural and regional areas.
  • Labor recognises that a strong agricultural sector relies on its ability to diversify and adapt to changing market and environmental conditions.
  • Labor will continue to support Tasmania’s unique agricultural sector through Tasmania-specific research, development, extension and education.
  • Labor will support the agricultural industry in dealing with the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change and climate policy.
  • Labor supports an effective biosecurity system that addresses pest and disease risk across the biosecurity continuum (pre-barrier, barrier, post-barrier).
  • Labor supports further protection of our clean, green image through strict primary production food safety laws and a moratorium on commercial release of genetically modified food crops and animals into the environment.
  • Labor supports world-leading animal welfare standards in food production, including restrictions on sow stall and cage-egg production, and will assist industry to adapt to changing consumer preferences in this area.

Water (Residential and Industrial)

  • Labor believes that all Tasmanians have the right to access a clean, affordable supply of potable water.
  • Labor believes that improving the conservation of water requires solutions at a state, regional and household level.
  • Labor believes that water is of vital importance to supporting freshwater and land-based ecosystems.
  • Labor believes that water management should be about striking an appropriate balance between the economic, social and environmental outcomes of water use and conservation.
  • Labor recognises that Tasmania requires significant ongoing investment in water and sewage infrastructure.
  • Labor recognises that drought and climate change threaten the supplies of water in Tasmania.
  • Labor will continue the process of structural water and sewerage infrastructure reform by supporting the amalgamation of Tasmania’s four Local Government owned water and sewage corporations into one.
  • Labor will continue to establish equitable catchment management regimes for water use and allocation.
  • Labor will apply water restrictions if the supply of water is threatened.
  • Labor will encourage water authorities to utilise grey water for appropriate uses.
  • Labor will continue to support the development of Tasmania’s water infrastructure to protect Tasmanian businesses from the effects of drought and provide the surety that will underpin future growth in the State’s agricultural sector.
  • Labor will ensure that maximum value is extracted from industrial and agricultural water use.
  • Labor will encourage the development and adoption of on-site systems for households and businesses to increase their water storage, conservation and recycling and reduce their water usage.
  • Labor supports incentives to households to achieve more sustainable water consumption.
  • Labor will work with industry to reduce pollution of Tasmania’s waterways to levels that avoid significant adverse impact on Tasmania’s land, freshwater and marine environments.

Energy

Principles for managing energy

  • Labor is committed to reform of Tasmania’s electricity supply industry that achieves the following objectives:
    • a secure, reliable supply of electricity to Tasmanians;
    • the lowest possible electricity bills for Tasmanian businesses, households, agencies and other organisations;
    • maximising the advantages of Tasmania’s investment in clean, low carbon energy; and
    • financially viable state-owned electricity businesses that run efficiently and effectively and maximise the overall economic benefit to Tasmania.
  • Labor believes that Bass link and the Tamar Valley Power Station are effective and strategic long term assets that secure Tasmania’s energy supply during times of drought.
  • Labor believes that reliable, secure, safe and efficient supplies of electricity underpin certainty and confidence in the State’s economy.
  • Labor believes that the combination of the State’s natural resources, clean energy generation capacity and skills and expertise give Tasmania a distinct competitive advantage in a carbon constrained national electricity market.
  • Labor will take advantage of Tasmania’s participation in the National Electricity Market to maximise the benefits for Tasmanian electricity customers and the commercial returns for Tasmanian Government owned electricity businesses.

Electricity retail market

  • Labor believes that full retail competition in the Tasmanian electricity market, and therefore choice for all customers, will contribute to the lowest sustainable electricity bills for customers.
  • Labor will facilitate the move of Aurora’s retail electricity customers to new, competing private sector retailers to deliver choice and competition to Tasmanian customers from 1 January 2014.
  • To facilitate effective competition in Tasmania and lower the price risks to Tasmanian retail electricity customers, Labor will regulate Hydro Tasmania’s wholesale contracting activities.
  • Labor will continue to support the sustainable growth of Hydro Tasmania’s clean energy retailing business, Momentum, using the market advantages of our investment in clean energy to increase Tasmania’s share of the interstate energy market.
  • Labor will work with community and welfare groups, business and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure Tasmanian electricity customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable, are provided with information regarding electricity market competition and their protections and rights in such an environment.
  • Labor will continue to support the provision of concessions to assist lower income households in meeting their utility bills.
  • Labor will provide information, advice and financial assistance to businesses and low income households to encourage energy efficiency.

Tasmania’s electricity businesses

  • Labor will ensure the State’s core electricity generation and network assets remain in public ownership.
  • Labor believes that a more efficient and competitive electricity industry can be achieved when there is a structural separation between electricity generation, network and retail businesses.
  • Labor believes that consolidation of state owned electricity generation assets, via the transfer of Tamar Valley Power Station to Hydro Tasmania, will secure the State’s energy supplies into the future.
  • Labor will integrate Aurora’s distribution system with Transend’s transmission network to form a single combined network business from 1 July 2014.
  • Labor will work with Hydro Tasmania to ensure the security of Tasmania’s electricity supply.

Clean energy development

  • Labor believes that Tasmania has significant natural advantages in the development and export of renewable energy for the benefit of all Tasmanians.
  • Labor believes that Tasmania’s abundance of clean energy also provides significant marketing and other commercial advantages for the sale of electricity generated in Tasmania, particularly in a carbon-constrained future.
  • Labor will advocate for the continuation of the carbon price and the renewable energy target with the economic and environmental benefits they bring to Tasmania.
  • Labor believes that the State’s long history with renewable energy development means Tasmania is well placed to assist businesses interstate and overseas to develop sustainable renewable energy projects.
  • Labor supports the growth of Hydro Tasmania’s consulting business Entura as the optimal vehicle to earn income for the State by exporting knowledge and expertise in renewable energy development to the rest of the world.
  • Labor will encourage exploration for the identification of geothermal energy hotspots.

Small scale energy development

  • Labor believes that a cost-effective secure energy supply can be enhanced by generation at the community or premises level where this contributes to delivering an efficient and cost effective network and consumer price outcome.
  • Labor will work co-operatively at a state and federal level to provide information, advice and financial incentives to encourage appropriate development of small scale energy generation assets.

Natural Gas

  • Labor will continue to support the reticulation of natural gas to additional areas of the state where it is economical to do so.

Resource management and development

Planning and development

  • Labor believes that the Government’s approach to planning and development should seek to balance and maximise economic, social and environmental outcomes.
  • Labor believes that the expansion of Tasmania’s built environment must be planned carefully so that it is supported by adequate and appropriate infrastructure.
  • Labor believes that built industrial developments are an important contributor to Tasmania’s economy and productivity.
  • Labor believes that Aboriginal, historical and ongoing cultural values are important in land management planning.
  • Labor believes that planning should seek to eliminate social isolation, tackle housing, transport and utilities affordability issues and reduce pollution.
  • Labor expects planning schemes to consider all of the above values.
  • Labor will continue to reform the planning system, including by developing and implementing a clear and consistent framework and approach for Local Government planning schemes that focuses on providing common provisions and documentation, and streamlining assessment processes, to minimise compliance costs for builders, developers and consumers.
  • Labor recognises that while planning consistency, clarity and certainty are required, they must be provided in a way that respects and reflects regional differences and the genuine needs and interests of local communities.
  • Labor will continue to support the development and implementation of regional planning strategies, and the Hobart Capital City Plan, in conjunction with relevant local councils.
  • Labor will have a comprehensive assessment process for projects of state significance.
  • Labor will assess crown land to determine its best use.
  • Labor will work with local councils with the aim of ensuring that development proposals are considered within specific, realistic and commercially acceptable timeframes. Labor will continue to deliver planning assessment and appeal times for development proposals that are better than most if not all other States.
  • Labor will allow all interested members of the public a reasonable opportunity to comment on planning and development schemes and proposals.