 Confirmation Hydro is exploring Basslink options
 Regulated link could force up power prices
 High-profile consultant brought in to provide advice

Matthew Groom must explain why Hydro Tasmania has secretively engaged high profile consultant Aquasia to provide advice about the future of Basslink. 

In today’s GBE hearing the Minister initially denied the Government was pursuing a new direction for Basslink before condoning Hydro’s strategy once details were revealed.

Aquasia - a firm that specializes in acquisitions and major infrastructure transactions - has been secretly engaged to consider options for the future of Basslink.

Hydro did not deny having internal discussions about a takeover of Basslink or converting it to a regulated link, which would potentially lead to increased household power prices.

These discussions are being led by an internal steering committee of senior Hydro executives.

“At a time when Hydro Tasmania is withholding the facility fee from Basslink it has now emerged that the company has been having secret internal discussions about future options for the cable that could include making it a regulated link,” Labor Leader Bryan Green said. 

“Labor has asked legitimate questions about whether Hydro is taking advantage of Basslink’s precarious financial position to change the management of the cable.

“That is a very high stakes game.

“The cost of a regulated link would be shared by all energy users - not only in Tasmania but interstate.

“The secrecy around this issue is unacceptable and extremely concerning.

“Either Matthew Groom was unaware that these discussions were taking place or he has deliberately withheld the information from Tasmanians.”