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Basslink should be publicly owned

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 27 November 2017

Tags: Renewable Energy, Basslink, Energy Security

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy spokesperson

Now is the time for the state and federal governments to commence negotiations with Keppel Holding Trust to buy the Basslink cable and take control over this essential power asset.

Keppel have announced they are seeking expressions of interest for ownership of the cable, following reports they are struggling to meet lending obligations.

Privatisation of major electricity assets has been a disaster for the environment, for power bills and for accountability. Bringing Basslink into public ownership would increase energy security, and remove the hidden subsidies Tasmanians pay to corporate executives and company shareholders.

News that the Federal Government is spending $20 million to fund another feasibility study into a second Basslink undersea power cable shows the illogical thinking of the Liberal Party. A feasibility study conducted last year found Basslink II would most likely never make back the $1 billion required to build it.

It is madness to prioritise building a second undersea cable when there is massive unused capacity on the first one. The Australian Electricity Market Operator estimated Tasmania has 730MW worth of additional renewable generation capacity with the existing Basslink cable. That’s equivalent to nearly seven Granville Harbour wind farms.

The potential to purchase Basslink and secure public control should be seized. Minister Barnett needs to assure Tasmanians he is actively working with federal colleagues to make a deal that’s in Tasmania’s advantage.