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Groom Failed to Prepare for "Super" Drought

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Tags: Basslink, Renewable Energy, Drought, Climate Change

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy spokesperson

The Minister for Energy, Matthew Groom, has seriously mismanaged obvious risks in his energy portfolio. This was demonstrated once more in Parliament this morning when he revealed his complete inability to plan for the future.

It's clear Minister Groom ignored warnings from climate organisations of a “super” El Nino that would hit Tasmania over last autumn, spring and summer. The severe drought warnings came nearly two years ago, and were confirmed in May 2015.

Minister Groom needs to explain why he failed to instruct Hydro to prudently conserve water resources throughout 2015.

The question of why he didn't instruct them to stop running the dams down and exporting electricity when a terrible drying had been predicted a year beforehand is unanswered. The likely answer is, that the government was so focussed on extracting $466M from Hydro in dividends over the last two years, that it ignored the known climate risks.

Minister Groom has said this energy crisis is due to unforseen events, but it’s actually the result of his poor risk management and lack of acceptance of climate change.

Hydro’s dam levels are now at 14.8%, the lowest ever reached and we are likely to see turbine damage from the sediment passing through. However, Minister Groom is presiding over the standing down of Hydro maintenance sub-contractors at Alstom.

The Minister is crossing his fingers for good Winter rainfall to bail us out of the energy crisis, all while the impacts on our environment and our clean energy brand are multiplying.