Transcript: Media conference on Marinus Link, renewable energy in Tasmania

Press Conference

Subjects: Marinus Link, Renewable energy in Tasmania

CHRIS BOWEN: Well, the Marinus Link is an important project for Australia's renewable transformation and a vital project for Tasmania as well as the mainland. And today, the Albanese Government is stepping up and making sure this project becomes a reality.

Like every big project around the world, the Marinus Link is experiencing cost increases. But we're not going to let that get in the way of getting the job done, because it's so important for renewable energy, it's so important for Tasmania's energy security, and it's so important for jobs.

We know that Tasmania is already 100 per cent renewables. It can get to a much higher proportion with the Marinus Link. And we also know that Tasmania's energy security, particularly in winter when it uses a lot of electricity, will be massively enhanced by the Marinus Link and not relying on the one link, the Bass Link.

So, in October, we announced an arrangement to make the Marinus Link happen. And today we're announcing that the Albanese Government is stepping up and making sure this project becomes reality. We announced a third, a third, a third equity last year. What we're doing now is making sure that it's delivered by the Albanese Government, taking 49 per cent equity and Tasmania's equity falling to around 17 per cent. We're also ensuring low interest loans for both the Cable and for the VNI West Link in Victoria and for the Northwest Link in Tasmania, as well as the Talaria Battery of the Nation Project. All this will create thousands of jobs in Tasmania. It'll create energy security for Tasmania, and it'll mean a big step forward in our plans to bring the entire energy grid to 82 per cent renewables.

So, when we see challenges, we rise to those challenges, we meet the challenges. The Marinus Link has had challenges, but we are not going to let it hit the wall. Scott Morrison used to talk a lot about Marinus Link and talk about how important it is. Anthony Albanese is getting on with the job and delivering the Marinus Link. It's good for jobs, good for energy, good for Tasmanians, good for Australians. We're very pleased to be delivering this deal. Happy to take your questions.

JOURNALIST: So, you've reached a new deal with Tasmania on the Marinus Link. So, why the change?

CHRIS BOWEN: Well, the cost increases. Every big project, particularly cables, are going up around the know. There's several countries building these cables and there's a lot of demand for the cables. And we're also seeing supply chain challenges more broadly in the post COVID environment. So, the cost has gone up. Tasmania indicated they couldn't bear those increased costs. The Albanese Government's going to step up and take the load.

JOURNALIST: And there have been a number of reports by energy experts and analysts warning Marinus Link could end up as a stranded asset. Yet you're putting more Commonwealth equity in it. Why are you so sure of its success?

CHRIS BOWEN: Because it's in the ISP, AEMO's blueprint for Australia. We know it's a vital project. We know that there's no point in Tasmania getting to 100 per cent renewables if they can't export that power. We know that Tasmania suffers energy insecurity, particularly in winter. And that's not good enough for us. This project is an important project, and all the expert analysis and evidence I've seen supports this project being built.

JOURNALIST: And how soon could the first inter-connector be up and running?

CHRIS BOWEN: We're aiming for 2028. We want to get it done as soon as possible. And 2028 is what both governments are working towards.

JOURNALIST: Perfect. Think that's all my questions.