Labor has announced, if elected, it will commit $5 million to develop a business case for a second Bass Strait Interconnector to prevent an energy shutdown in Tasmania.

Labor plan to work with the Tasmanian Government to develop a business case for a second interconnector for urgent consideration by Infrastructure Australia.

Labor will provide $5 million for the development of the business case, which will build on the existing feasibility study.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Tasmania has some of the best renewable resources in the world, but its energy supply is not as secure as it should be, and there are limited opportunities to grow the sector.

Mr Shorten said that the energy crisis that Tasmanians experienced in 2016 – with the shutdown of the single interconnector – should not be allowed to happen again.

A second cable will protect the energy security of Tasmanian businesses and households, as well as opening up new economic opportunities.

A second link across the Bass Strait will expand Tasmania’s access to the National Electricity Market.

This will boost the capacity of Tasmania’s renewable energy generators to boost supply and local jobs.

Subject to a positive business case and an assessment by Infrastructure Australia, up to $500 million will be made available through the Infrastructure Financing Facility for the construction of the second cable.

The project will be funded and delivered in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and the private sector.

Mr Shorten said that exporting Tasmania’s renewable energy to the rest of Australia is the key to new investment in Tasmania and new jobs for Tasmanians.  

Mr Shorten said Tasmania can become the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia.

Labor’s plan to boost investment and jobs in renewable energy includes:

  •      Ensuring that at least 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030
  •      Expanding the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  •      Ensuring the Commonwealth Government leads by example as a direct purchaser of renewable energy

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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