Tasmania’s Big Picture industries believe the current Renewable Energy Target (RET) undermines Tasmania’s competitiveness in energy-intensive industries where our energy resources should make us world leaders.
Together with the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council, the Big Picture industries are encouraging the State Government to urge the Australian Government to modify the RET, to deliver a full exemption to energy intensive industries, thereby avoiding the scheme damaging business certainty and viability in Tasmania.
General Manager Bell Bay Aluminium Ray Mostogl said the net cost impact of RET on Tasmania’s Big Picture industries was around $20 million per annum and RET payments by these industries over the next 10 years would see a wealth transfer of around $200 million out of Tasmania’s economy.
“That is $200 million that will not be spent on critical industry infrastructure, jobs and significant capital projects that sustain and support Tasmania’s major employers,” Mr. Mostogl said.
“The RET is damaging our economy by making it harder for Tasmanian based manufacturers and mineral processors to compete globally. It is harming the opportunities for our next generation of job seekers and the unemployed by putting major employers at risk.
“Renewable energy requirements are unwinding the competitive edge Tasmanian industry once enjoyed. Energy comprises over 30 per cent of aluminium smelting costs which are an essential part of our production process and RET energy taxes are compromising our industry’s sustainability.”
General Manager Norske Skog Rod Bender said the RET was imposed on industry during the same five-year period that Tasmania’s major employers have faced transmission cost increases of more than 200%, port charge increases of more than 70%, the imposition of significant license and handling fee charges at the Port of Melbourne and reduced shipping options and competition due to coastal shipping policy and regulation changes by the Federal Government.
“Our industries have been transforming in the face of unprecedented market challenges, but continued to be weighed down by unreasonable and unnecessary imposts as we fight to compete on the world stage,” Mr Bender said.
“We need to look at the bigger picture and establish a business environment where industry can invest in growth, jobs and importantly be viable to support critical site-based sustainability projects which will benefit the State’s environment and economy into the future.”