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Russian roulette is no way to manage Tasmania's energy system

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Tags: Energy Security, Renewable Energy

Rosalie Woodruff MP on tomorrow to move -

That this house:

1.     Acknowledges that the risk that the current Tasmanian energy crisis may turn into a catastrophe, including:

a)        an environmental catastrophe, where threatened native Tasmanian species go extinct and irreversible damage is caused to vulnerable aquatic ecosystems;

b)        an economic catastrophe if hundreds, and potentially thousands, of jobs are shed if Tasmania’s Major Industrials and small businesses are forced to scale back activity; and

c)        a social catastrophe from last minute power rationing leads to rolling brown outs and threatens the operations of emergency services and the health of vulnerable people during cold weather.

2.     Recognises that for every percentage point Hydro water levels continue to drop the associated risk to Tasmania rises exponentially.

3.     Understands that the Minister for Energy has avoided taking sensible preventive actions in advance, favouring the picture of a ‘good news’ government at the expense of prudent risk managment of our energy supply.

4.     Recognises that instead of taking action to reduce power consumption as soon as the Basslink cable broke, the Minister blamed nature, hoped for rain, and locked the Government into a rigid position of refusing to call on home owners, government bodies or businesses to reduce their power consumption.

5.     Calls on the Liberals to recognise that being in Government requires the responsible Minister to have the flexibility to adapt to the changing real world needs of a situation, as the environment will not bend to words.

6.     Calls on the Minister to undertake prudent risk management, noting that the longer meaningful action is delayed, the greater the risk of a catastrophe and the greater the cost of response.

7.     Understands that following the voluntary load reductions by the Major Industrial’s, nearly 50% of Tasmania’s power consumption rests with households, small businesses, government organisations and businesses, and local government. 

8.     Calls on the Minister, as a matter of priority, to:

a)    have an honest conversation with Tasmanians about how we can all reduce our consumption, including an information campaign to help Tasmanians, including small businesses, meaningfully reduce their power use;

b)    work with local government to put in place targets and strategies to enable them to reduce their consumption;

c)    issue directions, including specific targets and actions, to government departments and government businesses, directing them to reduce their consumption of energy as a matter of urgency.

9.     Calls on the Government to put the necessary money on the table to secure further load reductions from Major Industrials while ensuring their business viability into the future.

10.                        Understands the government’s prayer may come true and that it may ultimately rain, mitigating the need for these measures, but this is a gamble our State could never afford, with Russian roulette being no way to manage our states energy system.

11.                         Understands we need concrete action now to reduce our consumption of electricity and in turn save the last drops of our precious water and the risks that go with that to our dam environment and Hydro assets.

12.                        Acknowledges that with so much on the line, the Government’s current approach is unforgivable, that hard decisions need to be made, that courage is required, and that the government must act now.