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Looking to the future as we continue to address climate change

26 August 2021

Peter Gutwein MP

Premier and Minister for Climate Change

Tasmania continues to be a leader in renewable energy, reducing emissions and fighting climate change, which is vital as we deliver our plan to secure Tasmania’s future.

We achieved 100 per cent self-sufficiency in renewable electricity last year, and have achieved our net zero emissions target in six of the past seven years.

As the world looks to reduce emissions, these strengths form an important part of our brand and our competitive advantage. That’s why the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget will see the creation of Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania, which will be established by October this year.

Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania will be supported by Treasury, with a whole of Government view to capture the opportunities, jobs and investment that Tasmania’s unique renewable energy and emissions position provides.

Its formation will be guided by Treasury, my Department of Premier and Cabinet, and State Growth, and will include the responsibilities, resources and expertise of Renewables Tasmania in State Growth and the Climate Change office in DPAC.

It will provide the necessary advice to ensure that investment in renewable energy, hydrogen, Marinus link and Battery of the Nation projects, along with climate change adaptation and mitigation, are strategically considered, and that Tasmania harnesses the opportunity available to underpin the investment and jobs these sectors will deliver.

At the same time, the four-yearly statutory independent review of the Climate Change Act and our target is well underway, with more than 250 Tasmanians, community, research and industry organisations participating in the consultation.

A key theme we are hearing from the consultation is that Tasmania could adopt a more ambitious target, to capitalise on our competitive strengths in a low carbon economy and address climate change.

However, the Government has been clear that any new target must be based on both science and economics, and is currently considering expert economic analysis on the opportunities and challenges for our economy and jobs.

The 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget also includes $10 million over four years to deliver on our new Climate Change Action Plan 2021-26, which will be released later this year. This will identify practical actions to support business, industry, community and government to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change in a way that boosts productivity and supports economic growth.

The Tasmanian Government continues to take climate action, and since being re-elected, has delivered a two-year stamp duty waiver for electric vehicles to support their uptake. We are also supporting the tourism industry to adopt electric vehicles by waiving registration fees for hire car companies. A second $600,000 grants program to install electric vehicle chargers in regional Tasmania and in key tourism destinations is currently open.

The Budget also includes $6 million in equity investment for Metro Tasmania to trial an electric bus in the South, with further funding to be provided to support a hydrogen bus trial in the North of the state once hydrogen supply starts.

We will have more to say on the Independent Review of the Climate Change Act and target, and our Action Plan later this year as we deliver on our plan to strengthen our competitive advantages, grow our industries and jobs, and adapt to a changing climate.