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Greg Hunt's wind stunt won't fool Tasmania

25 May 2016

Senator Whish-Wilson provides the following comments on Greg Hunt’s visit to Robbins Island to talk up wind farm prospects.

“There have been very few Environment Ministers who have done more to damage Tasmania’s renewable investment opportunities than Greg Hunt.

“Minister Hunt oversaw the end of the carbon price, the gutting of the RET, twice voted to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and recently he cut $1 billion from the renewable energy fund ARENA.

“If Greg Hunt thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of Tasmanians via this fly-in fly-out stunt he has much to learn - we are not stupid.

“Tasmania needs to work on improving its own domestic renewable options before exploring any second Basslink options. Otherwise we run the risk of simply becoming a regular importer of coal-fired energy from the mainland.

“And until the mainland deals with its massive oversupply of dirty power from coal-fired power plants, it is hard to see how any additional exporting of renewable energy power from Tasmania would be viable.

“The Greens have a policy of increasing the Renewable Energy Target and phasing out coal-fired power plants which would provide genuine opportunities for renewable energy investment in Tasmania,” he concluded.

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Malcolm Turnbull disappoints in Tasmania yet again

20 May 2016

Launceston-based Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson makes the following comment on the Malcolm Turnbull visit to Launceston today.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “There was more money invested in Tasmania in the stage-management of a press event than there was in actual funding announcements for the Tasmanian community.

“Malcolm Turnbull tried to roll out new campaign lines, but instead found himself unable to find answers on Tasmania’s seven consecutive months of jobs losses across the state or University of Tasmania relocation funding.

“Another visit from the senior levels of the Liberal government, another time they bat away answers on the University funding. It’s time for Turnbull to stop dithering and make the call.

“Turnbull brought his Trade Minister to town to talk up new trade deals but the Liberals were speechless when asked about the crisis in the dairy industry that the free trade deals have done nothing to prevent.

“If the Prime Minister was fair dinkum about Tasmania he would visit with CSIRO scientists and hear their concerns about what his government’s cuts have done to Hobart’s climate science community.


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Government needs to come clean on talks about redrafting of TPP

19 May 2016

The Australian Greens’ spokesperson on trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, called on the federal government to ‘come clean’ about what was discussed in respect of the TPP at a side meeting of APEC in Peru.

In relation to trade talks, the guidance on caretaker conventions, published by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, states that the government “ordinarily seeks to defer … negotiations or adopts observer status until the end of the caretaker period.”

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “I call on the government to reveal what Australia’s status was at the side meeting at APEC? Did Australia put forward any formal position? If so, what was that position?”

“This is particularly important given reports that the United States is seeking ‘side letters’ to the TPP which would increase the monopoly powers of multinational pharmaceutical companies on biologic medicines and challenge domestic privacy protections.

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