Hobart light rail, Tranche 3 of the Tasmanian Irrigation Project and developing Tasmania’s future energy opportunities have been identified as new infrastructure priorities as part of our latest referral to the Infrastructure Australia Priority list.
These priorities meet Tasmania’s future infrastructure needs across energy, irrigation and public transport and have the potential to create thousands of jobs across the State.
Importantly, all of these projects support Tasmania’s comparative advantages such as our capacity for additional renewable energy, our high rainfall, and the Hodgman Government’s decision to protect the rail corridor from Hobart to Granton for future light rail opportunities.
I recently toured the rail line with the federal Minister for Cities Angus Taylor and spoke very positively about the potential for light rail to be further progressed as part of the Hobart City Deal, and this referral will add further weight behind the case to progress this.
With regards to irrigation, Tranches 1 and 2 of the Tasmanian Irrigation Scheme have provided access to quality, reliable irrigation water in many parts of the State but it is clear there are still opportunities to increase the productive capacity of our farming sector.
Additional irrigation schemes, interconnections between existing schemes and augmentation projects are all identified in this submission, which is consistent with the Government’s Sustainable Agri-Food Plan 2016-18 and our target to increase the value of our agriculture 10-fold to $10 billion a year by 2050.
Finally, Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy resources place us in a unique position to become the renewable energy battery of the nation.
That is why the Battery of the Nation Project has been identified as a key infrastructure priority that can help provide cheaper power and more reliable energy while also resulting in more jobs for Tasmanians.
We have already identified that Tasmania has the potential to develop more than 2500MW of new renewable energy capacity, and the Battery of the Nation Project can help advance projects that can not only power Tasmania but also be transferred into the National Energy Market.
The referral also identifies other new developments such as wind projects, pumped hydro and improvements to the existing electricity supply system, in addition to how a second interconnector would increase energy security at both a national and Tasmanian level.
The submission can be found here: http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/home/about_us/infrastructure