New energy minister announces ‘Tasmania-first’ vision

Tasmania’s new energy minister Guy Barrett has announced a “Tasmania-first” vision for energy.

Th minister has been on the job for just a week, after former minister Matthew Groom retired to spend more time with family.

Mr Barnett said his priority will be to deliver the “cheapest, most reliable” power to Tasmanians.

“Under my watch, our energy policy will be Tasmania-first,” Mr Barnett said.

“This means secure supply for Tasmania, and the lowest possible electricity prices for Tasmanians will be my number one priority.

“Following the energy crisis, our energy supply is now the most secure in the nation, with storage reaching 47.5 per cent this week, the highest level since December 2013.

“But I know that many people are worried that the errors of the former Labor-Green Government in draining our dams in order to make money from the carbon tax by exporting energy to the mainland, could be repeated.”

Mr Barnett said the state would continue to increase its energy capacity, with its Battery of the Nation project, but the needs of Tasmanians will come first.

“Tasmanians deserve to have the lowest possible power prices, and this must always come ahead of higher dividends, or the needs of the mainland,” he said.

Mr Barnett said that while he was still being briefed and working through the many complexities of the energy portfolio, he hoped to be able to make concrete announcements supporting the new Tasmania-first approach in coming months.