Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says that Tasmania will now lose three times over because of the passage of the Liberal’s legislation to gut the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Liberals have done a deal to cut the overall Renewable Energy Target. They have also done side-deals with the cross-bench to include the burning of native forest biomass within the target and to place ridiculous restrictions on the development of wind energy.
“This trifecta of blows to the renewable energy sector will hit especially hard in Tasmania, Australia’s renewable energy capital.
On the overall reduction in the Renewable Energy Target:
“Tasmania reaped enormous benefits from both the carbon price and from the existing RET scheme so any cuts to the overall RET target risks growth and job creation in Tasmania.
“The Liberals have been blind to the economic damage they have done to Tasmania with their war on renewables.
“Hydro Tasmania has already laid off hundreds of people around the axing of the carbon price and because of the loss of dividends the state coffers are hundreds of millions of dollars worse off.
“This just proves the Liberals have no interest in promoting the development of new and sustainable industries, one of the state’s competitive advantages.
On the inclusion of native forest biomass burning in the RET:
“This legislation means that whole logs from Tasmania’s native forests can be transported and burnt, to earn renewable energy credits.
“The government’s claims that this is only about burning post-logging biomass from the forest floor is fanciful. This will mean more logs being cut down and put on trucks and being burned to provide electricity that is neither clean, nor beneficial to our climate.
“Tasmania’s native forests are worth much more for the climate and for our precious biodiversity while they are standing.
On the additional wind power regulation now passed with the RET:
“The evidence is extensive and no credible health body or medical journal in the world supports the idea of wind turbine syndrome.
“A wind farm commissioner is a straight-out attempt by the Liberals to kill off wind power expansion.
“If you were genuinely worried about the health impacts of power generation you’d look at the impact coal mining and coal burning has on air quality, causing more deaths in Australia than the road toll.
“This is just another part of the Abbott government’s crusade to keep the fossil fuels industry happy. The government is trying to kill off clean energy alternatives, so their mates can keep profiting from pollution,” he concluded.