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Liberals Have Much to Answer on Energy

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 29 August 2016

Tags: Renewable Energy, Public Accounts Committee

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy spokesperson

Throughout the Energy Crisis, Minister Groom showed a complete lack of leadership, and we still don’t know the full cost of the energy crisis to the State.

The Public Accounts Committee needs to ask the Energy Minister and Treasurer to explain why they failed to direct Hydro to keep their eye firmly on the State’s energy security instead of their balance sheet.

The Energy Minister failed to plan for last Summer's extreme drought stemming from the super El Niño and positive Indian Ocean dipole. The mega drought was predicted by international agencies 18 months beforehand, but the Liberals didn't take any protective action.

Instead, the Hodgman Government allowed the dam levels to run down to make money from selling the electricity. When the cable failed, Tasmania had minimal water reserves left as an insurance policy.

Minister Groom also needs to explain why he refused to take any actions during the crisis to encourage less electricity consumption. He’s never explained why he didn't take all the steps he could to reduce demand.

The main lesson Basslink’s failure has taught us is that we need to secure our on-island energy supply. Matthew Groom should explain to the Committee why he still refuses to set targets for generating renewable energy in Tasmania.

The Treasurer also needs to explain if he pressured Hydro Tasmania to deplete the dams to meet unsustainable dividend targets. That policy decision put our energy security at serious risk.