We need to face facts: The climate is changing. The climate has always changed, and past history shows there has been much colder and much hotter. We’re seeing more weather extremes and the destruction caused by our weather patterns – droughts, floods, bushfires and the list goes on.
There is little doubt that these weather extremes will worsen over the decades to come so we need to be prepared. We are going to need an army of emergency service workers, that has proven team capable of providing immediate emergency management, to respond to emergencies and natural disasters, assisting in evacuation, recovery and repair.
Tasmania is in a unique position to take the lead when it comes to renewables. Tasmania leads the country in emission-free power generation thanks to our Hydro network. Almost all of our electricity comes from clean, reliable, renewable energy.
Whilst Hydro provides low-emission energy in-state, we are only scratching the surface of our capabilities. The Jacqui Lambie Network believes that with smart, targeted investment, the Hydro network can play its part in the nation’s transition to renewable baseload power and generate some extra revenue along the way.
That’s why in 2017, party leader Jacqui Lambie wrote to then-Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull proposing the most significant expansion of the Tasmania Hydro system since its inception. She called it “Tassie Hydro 2.0”.
TASSIE HYDRO 2.0
Tassie Hydro 2.0 was conceived as the way to responsibly expand the capacity of the network by introducing Pumped Hydro-electricity to existing Hydro assets.
Pumped hydro involves capturing the water that has flowed through hydro-electric turbines, before returning it to the dams above the turbines in order to be reused. The water is pumped during times of low demand, storing the energy produced by intermittent renewable sources (such as solar and wind) ready to be used at times of high demand, when non-renewable sources, such as coal- or gas-fired power stations, would otherwise be used.
With the addition of a second Bass Strait interconnector, this would act as a battery for the renewable generation assets all across the Eastern Seaboard, lowering the reliance on fossil fuels to provide baseload power.
In addition, it would provide much-needed jobs and economic opportunities for Tasmania.
The government adopted an almost identical policy, renaming it the “Battery of the Nation”.
The Jacqui Lambie Network has led from the front and recognises the need to provide large scale storage for renewables, and therefore supports the Tassie Hydro 2.0/Battery of the Nation project and will push for it to be commenced without delay.
The Jacqui Lambie Network recognises that the transition to renewable sources is inevitable and will likely be driven by the market as well as by environmental concerns.
However, we also understand that during this transition, it is important to ensure that the price of electricity is kept as low as possible in order to keep a lid on the cost of living. In addition, affordable, reliable energy is critical to maintain industry and the blue-collar jobs that come with it.
The simple fact is that Australia is not ready to eliminate coal and gas, so the Jacqui Lambie Network supports the continued operation of coal-fired power stations until the market has determined that renewables technology is capable of providing reliable, cost effective power generation for every Australian.
PREPARING FOR DISASTER
A major element of addressing climate change is the need to ensure that our emergency services are prepared and equipped to battle the effects of climate change.
We are seeing more extreme weather events - floods, cyclones, bushfires - and our emergency services are finding themselves stretched thin.
We need to make an immediate investment in our emergency services. None is more critical than the SES, and the volunteers from a wide range of organisations who bear an incredible - and too often unrecognised - burden during natural disaster responses.
The Jacqui Lambie Network believes that part of the solution is to provide the opportunity for young people not in employment or training to contribute. We support the concept of a National Service for young Australians aged between 18 and 25 who are without job or education prospects as a means of providing them with job-ready skills, purpose and qualifications, over a 12-month period if they are deemed physically and psychologically able to participate.
Participants will be fed, clothed, housed and given medical and dental care. More importantly, National Service will teach basic survival skills, discipline, first aid training, resilience and will help instil a sense of purpose in participants’ lives. The training that will be provided will go beyond the technical skills needed to get the job done. Past National Servicemen went on to pursue successful, fulfilling careers in the civilian workplace. National Service taught teamwork, responsibility, initiative, leadership, habits of healthy living and discipline as well as skills in self-defence.
We’ll make you fit, capable, and confident, and we’ll provide you with coping mechanisms so that you can deal with the what life throws at you.
It will be magical and rewarding and bring out the best in participants while contributing to building a better, stronger nation.
It should be noted that this is NOT a military program. The Jacqui Lambie Network envisions this new National Service as a civilian program that utilises the experiences and the structures of previous National Service programs and translates them into a civilian nation building project. This cohort of National Servicemen and Women will not be required to go to war as a part of this scheme.