The Treasurer must detail exactly how Tas Networks will pay off their $1.65 billion debt if his assertion that Tasmanian power consumers will not be impacted is to be taken seriously, Greens Leader and Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“I just wish the Treasurer would tell the truth that Tasmanian small business and families will pay through their power bills, for the staggering $1.65 billion dollar Tas Networks debt,” Mr Booth said.
“Treasurer Gutwein has made sure that power bills will rise, to pay for TasNetworks massive $1.65 billion debt, and which is growing daily as the Liberal government loads it up with debt from other failing GBE’s.”
“If Tas Networks has an alternative revenue source by which they will pay down this debt, then please inform us. Otherwise clearly it is Tasmanian mum and dad power consumers, and local business consumers who will be paying.”
“The public is sick of weasel words from Treasurer Gutwein and this latest episode will further his reputation as ‘slippery Pete’.”
“Tasmania deserves better, we need considered and genuine energy reform, not just shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic.”
“When the Liberals said there were massive opportunities in dairies, no one realised that they were talking about turning Tas Networks into a massive milking cow to rip money out of families and small business’s power bills to prop up failing GBE’s such as Forestry Tasmania and Hydro Tasmania.”
“Mr Gutwein’s audacious weasel words on this issue are breathtaking. It was the Liberals whom supported Labor in buying the rusting relic of the Tamar Valley gas station which the Greens said at the time would drive power prices through the roof.”
“And it was the Liberals whom supported Labor in rejecting the independent Electricity Expert Panel’s advice to parliament regarding comprehensive energy reform.”
“Consumers are already paying for the $100-odd million losses over six years signed up for power purchases with Shenuo, $93 million per year to pay for the cable rent for Basslink, as well as risky power retailing on the mainland and so the losses mount.”
“The Treasurer is deliberately rigging Hydro’s books to enable further reckless and risky expansion by Hydro, while leaving the Tasmanian public to carry the financial burden,” Mr Booth said.