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COAG Must Consider Public Ownership of Basslink

23 Nov 2017

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Energy spokesperson 

As State, Territory and Federal Ministers for Energy converge on Hobart tomorrow, Minister Barnett should formally open a conversation about nationalising the Basslink cable.

The functioning of the Basslink underwater cable is critical for Tasmania’s energy security. Basslink’s role in balancing the national electricity grid is also now being intensively investigated by Hydro and the Federal Government.

Basslink is an essential asset for Tasmania and Australia. It is currently owned by a private international company, and the option of Keppel Holdings selling it is “up for review”.

Now is the time to consider the benefits for Tasmania and the rest of the country of transferring this major infrastructure into public hands.

The Energy COAG policy decisions will govern electricity generation and distribution for the next 20-50 years. Accelerating climate disruption and rapid technology advances make this a crucial point for setting policy around Tasmania’s energy future.

Moving Basslink to public ownership would give Tasmanians control of this important infrastructure, and certainty for energy supply and investment.

The Hodgman Government needs to put Tasmania’s long-term energy security interests on the table at the Energy COAG and raise the prospect of the public owning this key asset.