Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader
The Hodgman Government cannot be taken seriously on energy efficiency.
Having scrapped the Labor Green Government's large scale, free, energy efficiency scheme for households, community groups and small business, the Liberals have instead adopted a Harvey Norman style credit scheme to be run by Westpac.
All that is missing are the noisy advertisements, but the principles are identical.
Giving low to medium income Tasmanians a $10 000 line of credit at zero interest for three years exposes them to the very real risk of being left with a large debt, at standard bank credit card interest rates if they haven't managed to pay down their borrowings within three years.
Why are the Liberals giving credit cards to low to medium income Tasmanian households?
The Liberals are entering into a $10 million contract with one of the big four banks, instead of reinstating free energy efficiency upgrades and expanding the No Interest Loan Scheme to enable households to become more energy efficient.
Perhaps the answer lies in the sizeable donations made by Westpac to the Tasmanian Branch of the Liberal Party over the past three years.
In donations' disclosures made by Westpac - but not disclosed by the State Liberals - in its returns to the Australian Electoral Commission, it is clear the big bank paid a total of $32 000 to the Tasmanian Branch of the Liberal Party between 2013-2015.
An $11 000 donation Westpac made to the Tasmanian Branch of the Liberal Party in September 2014 and a further $11 000 was donated by Westpac to the Tasmanian Liberals in October 2015.
These donations, made both before the Hodgman Liberals took office and during the Liberals' term in government, is money paid by Westpac to buy influence.
The Hodgman Liberals seem to be keen to reassure their major donor that there will be a strong return on their investment.
* Westpac Banking Corporation Annual Return, 2013-14 - http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Donor.aspx?SubmissionId=55&ClientI...
* Westpac Banking Corporation Annual Return, 2014-15 - http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Donor.aspx?SubmissionId=56&ClientI...
* Westpac Banking Corporation Annual Return, 2015-16 - http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Donor.aspx?SubmissionId=60&ClientI...