Tasmania has enormous potential in renewable energy.
Our intergenerational investment in hydro power, abundant wind resource and extensive renewable energy expertise means we should be leading the nation on energy.
Labor is committed to restoring Tasmania’s renewable energy advantage.
Fostering a more diverse energy generation system will 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.
Working for Tasmanians to Save Hydro
Peter Gutwein is trying to hide his privatisation agenda for the Hydro.
As of right now, the Hydro Tasmania website carries a press release flagging the intention to sell Momentum Energy.
And just two weeks ago Peter Gutwein refused to rule anything in or out when asked a direct question about Hydro selling off its subsidiaries, including Entura.
He has failed to lift a finger to save 50 jobs that are set to be axed from Hydro.
And no one has forgotten that Peter Gutwein orchestrated the decommissioning and sale of the Tamar Valley Power Station, which was only aborted after the 2016 energy crisis.
Peter Gutwein knows full well that current legislation does not prevent the sale of any asset that is not considered a ‘main undertaking’ – a definition that is entirely controlled by his government.
He could have committed today to closing that loop hole – but he didn’t.
Peter Gutwein’s past words and actions speak far louder than his hollow assurances during an election campaign.
Labor will legislate to keep Hydro in public hands
Within the first 100 days of a Labor Government we will introduce legislation to close current loopholes and prevent the sale of any energy assets without the approval of both House of Parliament.
The loopholes in the current legislation are so large you could drive a truck through them.
Currently the legislation allows for the sale of any asset that is not classified as a “main undertaking” without needing the approval of Parliament.
It is the shareholder ministers and the GBEs themselves that determine the definition of a ‘main undertaking’ so the current protections are not worth the paper they are written on.
Clearly Momentum Energy and Entura are not considered to be ‘main undertakings’ by the Liberals despite delivering significant benefits to Tasmanians and employing hundreds of people.
Only Labor will stop the sale of important energy assets and we will legislate to ensure the Liberals keep their hands off the Hydro for good.
Working for Tasmanians to End the Feed-In Tariff Rip Off
The Liberals have ripped off Tasmanians
Solar owners have been badly let down by the Liberals.
People who invested in solar in good faith have seen the value of their investment crumble after the feed-in tariffs were cut.
Now the controversial new ‘solar tax’ proposed by the Australian Energy Market Commission will further hit the value of feed-in tariffs with people set to be charged for exporting solar power to the grid.
This is completely unfair.
Labor’s positive alternative
Due to changes in the national electricity market it is now impossible to simply reinstate the previous tariff rates and the only solution is battery storage.
Labor would love to undo the Liberal damage but unfortunately we cannot.
However, for customers, having battery storage is the equivalent of receiving a feed-in tariff equal to the retail rate charged by Aurora.
The loans will be over ten years, interest free for the first three years and then low interest for the remaining seven.
$20 million of loans will be available under the program.
This funding will help ensure Tasmanians see return on their solar investment which is both beneficial to them and the environment.
While Labor works to push down power prices, Peter Gutwein and the Liberals will carve up and privatise the Hydro.
Only Labor is working for Tasmanians to get more solar on more roofs.
Working for Tasmanians to Put Solar on Schools
A Labor Government will create a $5 million Solar Schools Fund to encourage state schools to install solar panels and reduce their power costs.
The program would create around 45 jobs.
An important element of Labor’s policy is that schools will be able to retain their savings as an incentive instead of having to return this money to the department, which is the current Liberal policy.
Labor candidate for Franklin and Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year 2021 Toby Thorpe has been campaigning on this issue for several years and was instrumental in fundraising to help Huonville High install solar panels when he was a student at the school.
We estimate that by installing solar panels, each school could save around $22 thousand a year from their power bill. Under Labor’s policy this is a significant saving that can be poured back into increasing the learning outcomes of students at each participating school.
Labor’s policy is a win for jobs, it’s a win for schools and it’s a win for the climate.