The Turnbull Government welcomes the release today of the preliminary report into the feasibility of a second Tasmanian interconnector by the Hon Warwick Smith AM, and accepts the interim recommendations that a second interconnector should be supported.
Commissioned in April by the Turnbull Coalition and Tasmanian Governments, the report was driven by the energy challenges Tasmania was facing with the failure of the Basslink interconnector, recent very low dam levels and the need to investigate how to drive the development of major new renewable energy investments.
The report recommends that the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments commit to support the construction of a second interconnector, subject to the successful completion of the final business case, and the early involvement of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government commits to supporting the building of a second interconnector, subject to the final business case which we expect to be positive based on the interim report.
As the report states, this would support long term energy security in Tasmania, assist in the integration of Tasmanian renewable energy into the National Electricity Market, support the operation of the National Electricity Market and could open the path way for more than 1000 MW of new renewable energy development in Tasmania.
This is great news for jobs in Tasmania.
A second interconnector would play an important role for Tasmania’s long-term energy security and help drive the development of Tasmania’s world class renewable energy resources.
Along with the potential development of more than 1,000 MW of new renewable energy, a second interconnector could drive investment of around $3 billion for Tasmania.
As Mr Smith made clear in his preliminary report, there is a case for developing a second interconnector in order to ensure Tasmania’s long term energy security and open the pathway for more than 1,000MW of new renewable energy investment.
Given the financial complexities involved in developing the business case for a second interconnector and Tasmania’s renewable energy resources, the recommendation about a key role for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also welcome.
A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government looks forward to Mr Smith’s final report which is due by the end of the year. It will form a major part in determining the business case for the second interconnector.
Last week Bill Shorten was humiliated when he announced support for a feasibility study and was forced to admit he didn’t even realise a study was underway.
It was simply another empty slogan from Labor with zero detail.
By contrast, the Coalition has taken a sensible approach to this important issue for Tasmania – one that is about delivering real jobs and investment for all Tasmanians.