House debates

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015; Consideration in Detail

8:18 pm

Photo of Eric HutchinsonEric Hutchinson (Lyons, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I appreciate that; thank you indeed, Deputy Speaker. Biomass is, indeed, a very important part of the renewable energy target, particularly in my state of Tasmania. This was a federal Labor policy from 2007 until as recently as November 2011. The former member for Lyons, Mr Adams, at the time was the chair of a committee which, even as recently as October 2011, voted in support of the very measures which the Labor Party are now trying to remove from the renewable energy target. It is gross hypocrisy.

The support comes from an astounding array of quarters. I remember very well 19 June 2013. Why do I remember it very well? It was my birthday, and I took the time out to drive all the way down to Hobart to listen to a fellow by the name of Professor Andreas Rothe, who had been doing some work. He is from the German University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf in Freising, Bavaria. Professor Rothe estimates that as much as 3.3 million tonnes of biomass could be sourced for bio-energy from sustainable forestry in Tasmania. He gave an excellent presentation. There were a number of people there, including Peg Putt. And there were others there eagerly listening to what he had to say. And what he said made sense.

I also might draw to the attention of those who have remained in the chamber a publication put out by the World Wildlife Fund, the WWF: 'Biopowerswitch! A biomass blueprint to meet 15% of OECD electricity demand by 2020'. If I may be indulged to quote from this, it refers to the threat of climate change. It says:

If we really want to prevent catastrophic climate change, we will have to make radical alterations to the ways in which we generate energy. One major solution lies in the contemporary, cutting-edge use of the oldest fuel known to man—wood.

Woody biomass—also known as biomass from forestry and farming—has the potential to become a major source for future electricity and heat production. By utilizing modern and efficient technologies, biomass offers a source of clean energy that can gradually replace coal and other fossil fuels, bringing environmental benefits, supporting rural development and creating new employment opportunities.

If it pleased the opposition, I would be very happy to table the research paper entitled Current and potential use of forest biomass for energy in Tasmania, published by Professor Andreas Rothe, Martin Moroni, Mark Neyland and Matthias Wilnhammer, and also the document entitled Biopowerswitch!—a biomass blueprint to meet 15% of OECD electricity demand by 2020.

Leave not granted.

The other point I would like to make in conclusion is that this is supported by the ALP in Tasmania. This is supported rightly by the ALP in Tasmania. They are in absolute conflict with their federal colleagues. I call on the member for Franklin in particular to stand up for her state, because this is important for Tasmania. The science on climate change is in. It is documented here before us. This is a no-brainer. I call on the Labor Party to examine their conscience. This was their policy between 2007 and 2013. I call on them to reconsider the position on which they are advocating now.


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