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Groom Switches Blame to Hydro for Energy Crisis


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Tags: Energy Crisis, Energy, Hydro, Dam Levels, Aurora

Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for ENERGY, Mr GROOM

We have not seen much of you lately on the energy crisis.  Why have you sought to put the blame back on Hydro -

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  The House will come to order immediately.

Ms O'CONNOR - and made Hydro explain to Tasmanians what the situation is?  With storages now at the extreme risk level of 13.6 per cent, and below average autumn rains forecast, will you now admit that the energy crisis has the potential to turn into an economic, social and environmental catastrophe with power rationing and brownouts a legitimate possibility?  Will you now admit you have mishandled the Basslink crisis from day one, that you are a hapless minister who failed to show leadership and take the necessary action that would ensure all Tasmanian power users, including industry, government and households, saved power to reduce the unsustainable pressure on Hydro's rapidly diminishing storages?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, with that question you would be forgiven for thinking it is 1 April.  What a joke that question is.  If you want an example of a person who has no idea and no constructive suggestion for dealing with the current energy circumstances, then the member for Denison, Ms O'Connor, would be front and centre.  The Greens member for Denison - thank God she is not a Liberal - is the worst example in this Parliament of somebody who engages in baseless personal attack.  The suggestion that I have not been out -

Ms O'Connor interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  A member who needs to call a point of order does not just stand up and start speaking.  I have not even heard the words 'point of order'.  I presume the member for Denison has one.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of Order, Madam Speaker, concerning standing order 195 regarding relevance.  The minister has not answered any part of the question and instead has indulged in personal attacks.

Madam SPEAKER - Members are well and truly aware of my ruling in this regard.  If you are going to give a preamble to a question, and it is lengthy one, then the minister is given further opportunity expand on it.

Mr GROOM - That is a very defensive response from the Greens member for Denison.  It is another example of what the member does - engage in pointless points of order, baseless personal attack, but no substantive contribution.  The Greens are all over the place, which is why there are people seeking to supplant the Tasmanian Greens.

Mr Brooks interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  I warn the Minister for Mining, Mr Brooks.

Mr GROOM - They are all over the place when it comes to this issue. 

Ms O'Connor interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  I warn the member for Denison, Ms O'Connor.

Mr GROOM - The Greens member for Franklin, Ms Woodruff, supported the Government's position on diesel generation.  The Greens adopt every position -

Ms Woodruff interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  I warn the member for Franklin, Ms Woodruff.  I am sick of this shouting.  The next person will be ejected if they have had a warning.

Mr GROOM - The Greens adopt every position under the sun when it comes to renewable energy.  At various points they have opposed every dam, wind farms and Basslink.  They are the captains for opposing renewable energy.  As an example of a 'frenemy' of renewable energy, the Greens are it.  The Greens and the Labor Opposition can adopt this approach and continue to throw rocks.  The Government will not be distracted.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, the member will put the prop down.  You need to seek consent of the Speaker.  All members are aware of that.

Mr GROOM - The Government will not be distracted.  The Government is very appreciative of efforts made by Hydro Tasmania, TasNetworks, Aurora Energy and members right across the government.  Over 100 people are involved in an intensive effort to respond to this very urgent and unprecedented circumstance.  The Government and I stand behind all those people and thank them for the extraordinary efforts they are engaged in right now.  As much as we see continuation of a reckless and destructive approach from those opposite, we will not be distracted.  We will get on with the job and will ensure energy security in the state.