"More spin and announcements from Prime Minister Morrison today but still no answer as to who will pay for the unnecessary and economically unviable Project Marinus and Battery of the Nation. All these announcements are to build momentum for the idea that these projects are inevitable and going ahead in spite of no cost sharing agreements being signed for the $7.1billion they are estimated to cost. The only costs being announced are to the taxpayers and people of Tasmania via a $93.9m convertible loan," said Bob Brown Foundation Director Christine Milne.
"Make no mistake, this is a Debt Debt Debt disaster for Tasmania to finance a white elephant. Remember they said same things about Basslink and they were wrong. How exactly will it drive down electricity prices when the experience is that Tasmania follows Victorian prices because of Basslink? It will be even more so with Marinus? AEMO has included Marinus and Battery of the Nation in its ISP on assumption that Tasmania will overbuild renewable energy at its own cost via a cost sharing arrangement and that energy will be available at low cost to the NEM. It It is an investment that Tasmanians have to build in the first place and work out who will pay for that build," said Ms Milne.
"Tasmania has 100% renewable energy. The mainland is well on the way to a 100% transition to renewables and batteries are flying down the cost curve to provide storage. Just yesterday Portland Aluminium entered a contract to provide storage and energy services Victorians. Batteries on the mainland have already leapfrogged Tas Hydro storage services. We don’t need to spiral into huge debt and destroy our environment to send energy to the mainland when it is not needed to achieve climate or renewable energy goals. Industrialising the north of the state for private sector profits in wind farms, subsidised from our own pockets, is not in Tasmania’s interests. Already TasNetworks has $2b borrowings, Hydro has signed onerous contracts with Granville Wind and Aurora has signed same with Cattle Hill. Exactly how many more millions are Tasmanians expected to throw at these private sector developments?" concluded Ms Milne.