Basslink buy-out ruled out by state government

The state government will not consider buying Basslink if it fails to obtain money owed by Hydro Tasmania, Premier Will Hodgman says.

A report has revealed Hydro stopped paying facility fees for the Basslink interconnector following a disagreement with Basslink over whether a fault found in the cable last year could have been avoided. 

Basslink’s parent company Keppel Infrastructure Trust is now in talks with the banking syndicate to obtain the money needed to keep Basslink in operation. 

Premier Will Hodgman said he acknowledged concerns Basslink may go into liquidation if Keppel cannot provide the funds but he ruled the state government buying Basslink as a potential solution. 

“We’re not in a position where that is an option or something that we’re considering,” Mr Hodgman said.  

“We are obviously very concerned about any suggestion that [liquidation] might occur but we are not in receipt of advice to suggest that will happen but needless to say we will monitor circumstances closely.”

A Hydro spokesperson said the matter would be resolved through legal process and would not place the state’s energy supply in jeopardy. 

Labor spokesperson Josh Willie called on Energy Minister Matthew Groom to provide further detail. 

“[Mr Groom] needs to come out and update Tasmanian’s on how [Hydro’s relationship with Basslink] is going, when the payments stopped, what the risk is associated with that decision and whether he has a plan if the relationship sours further,” Mr Willie said. 

Greens spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff said Mr Groom needed to reassure Tasmanian’s they would not suffer additional costs as a result of the dispute.