In yet another breathless announcement from Premier Rockliff, Tasmanians were told today that the two 750MW Marinus Link cables will now be reduced to one for the same price we were told would pay for two, $3-3.3billion.
“One for the price of two, what a bargain!” said Christine Milne, spokesperson for the Bob Brown Foundation.
“The one thing Tasmanians can be 100% certain about is that our power bills will go up to pay for this Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation debacle. Having been told two cables were essential for the ‘jobs and growth’ to flow and to power the mainland and the hydrogen hub, we are now told, they are not. One will suffice. This is the never ending story, Tasmanian style.”
“First we were told Tasmania had so much energy we could be the Battery of the Nation, helping the mainland get off coal and gas. All we needed was a shiny new Marinus Link, 1,500MW extension chord and big $$ profits would flow. Then in a 100% reversal, we were told that Tasmania didn’t have enough power and we would have power shortages unless we imported power from the mainland.”
“Now we are told, in yet further mission creep, that we can do without two chords and can settle for one, in part to hedge against Basslink redundancy. But Basslink is not redundant, we are about to pay for it again as the Tasmanian Government has assured the new owners that the Tasmanian Government will back Basslink becoming a regulated asset so that Tas Networks can charge us more in our power bills to pay for it.”
“Why are we even contemplating this debacle? No one seriously believes that the mainland needs Tasmania’s energy so why are we pursuing this financial millstone and reconfiguring our Hydro system for everyone but Tasmanians?”
“When will we use our energy to electrify transport and agriculture on Tasmania?”
“Guy Barnett talks ‘jobs and growth’ but growth for whom? All that will happen is that Tasmanians will subsidise the growing profits of yet more overseas owned windfarms, just as we have for Granville Harbour and Cattle Hill. We need answers,” stated Christine Milne.
“Tasmanians will have new Basslink charges, plus one $3.3 billion 750MW cable, plus NW transmission extension borrowings of $ 1 billion plus borrowings to finance Tarraleah and Cethana and whatever else Hydro builds. Tasmania is borrowing 80% of the total cost of Marinus Link, which the Government now says is $3.3billion. We are also paying 17.7% of 20% of equity in the project.”
“The Government needs to come clean on the total costs and explain why we should pay exorbitant power bills to finance it. The so called benefits are a mirage,” concluded Christine Milne.