Tasmania’s Great RET Rip Off

7.9.14

Tasmania’s Great RET Rip Off

“The Australian RET Scheme is good for Tasmania - right? Wrong!

After this week’s briefing from Tas - Hydro during the latest Senate sitting, and the research carried out by the Parliamentary library*, it’s clear that the mainland RET scheme rips off more than $1.1B from Tasmania each year.

On behalf of the Tasmanian people, Tas - Hydro only receives in Australian RET credit income, about $60M p/a - or 5%, of the possible RET credits created by the electricity generated from Tasmanian renewable water power. So why are we missing out on the other 95%, or more than $1.1B of possible Australian RET credits?

This is an important question that the federal Liberal Party, who first designed the RET system, must answer. Everyone knows that water power (Hydro) is one of the best forms of renewable energy available to human kind.Unlike wind power - Hydro can supply cheap, reliable, base load electricity for 21st century factories, businesses and families.

There's no risk of brown outs, voltage fluctuations or loss of electric supply, if a community is powered 100% by Hydro - which Tasmania is!So it disappoints and upsets me that our Liberal, Labor and Green politicians for over a decade, have accepted a mainland RET scheme which only pays Tasmania $60m a year for RET Credits – when we should receive more than $1.1B.

Not only have they accepted this injustice, they now lie and tell people, Tasmania has a great deal under the current mainland RET system. Nothing could be further from the truth. The big 4 Tasmanian employers (Nystar Minerals, Bell Bay Aluminium, Grange Resources, Norske Skog Paper Manufactures) who use 57% of our clean renewable Hydro energy, are slugged over $20M in RET penalties. Why – they produce goods using renewable energy not brown coal electricity?

This cost is added on top of the ordinary federal and state taxes the Big 4 Tasmanian’s already pay - and along with the Bass Strait Freight cost crisis - has endangered their commercial viability. Put quite simply, the few hundred jobs generated by the mainland RET scheme are in danger of wiping out the almost 10,000 direct and indirect jobs created by the Big 4 Tasmanian manufactures.

$900M worth of local business and up to ten thousand jobs could be wiped out unless

  1. Tasmania is guaranteed 100% RET Credits for our Hydro electricity or
  2. Tasmanian Businesses are stopped from being unfairly penalised for using 100% renewable energy!
And I haven’t even begun to talk about today’s news that our National economy has entered the danger zone and commodity prices are at record low prices. I challenge all Tasmanian politicians to stop the RET lies and put their state first.

Time to get real and stop the great Tasmanian RET rip off.” said Senator Lambie.