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Groundhog Day as Turnbull throws a lifeline to dying coal

The proposal for a second Basslink is Groundhog Day for Tasmania, with former Liberal Minister Warwick Smith being used to work around the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim says.

“The Greens did not establish the CEFC so that it could be pressured by government to throw a lifeline to dirty brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley,” Senator McKim said.

“Tasmania’s first priority should be to achieve energy sustainability by displacing coal fired power being imported and used in Tasmania, and achieve 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.”

“The rhetoric from the Liberals around a second Basslink cable is exactly what we heard in the lead up to the first Basslink, which turned out to be nothing more than spin.”

“Basslink has made Tasmania less sustainable in energy terms, and the danger is that a second cable would simply compound the problem.”

“One of the risks of a second Basslink is that it would provide more opportunity for governments to put financial pressure on Hydro Tasmania to chase profits over energy security, which is exactly what led us into the energy crisis in the first place.”

At a recent Senate inquiry, Professor Michael Negnevitsky from UTAS, Bell Bay Aluminium’s Ray Mostogl, renewable energy expert Jack Gilding and economist John Lawrence all cast serious doubt about the need for a second Basslink.  

“The danger is a second Basslink would allow the government to drain the dams twice as fast next time,” Senator McKim said.

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