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Taxpayers Win By Scrapping White Elephant Lake Onslow Hydro Scheme, But The Government Can Always Do More

Responding to reports that the Government has issued a stop-work notice on the $16 billion Lake Onslow Hydro-Electricity Scheme, Taxpayers' Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, says:

“This project was always a white elephant that would never pass the sniff test of fiscal responsibility, costing more than $8000 for every household in the country.

“The project would not have reduced New Zealand’s net emissions as the electricity sector is already governed by the Emissions Trading Scheme. If the goal is to make electricity more affordable there are far more efficient ways to do this than unnecessarily piling billions of dollars of debt onto taxpayers.

“Reducing regulatory barriers to building renewable energy and allowing foreign investment in renewable projects would bring the costs of electricity down, while providing a universal carbon dividend with ETS revenue would help shield consumers from unaffordable price rises.

“The new Government must not fall into the trap of substituting one white elephant project for another. The plans to subsidise electric charging stations are nothing more than expensive corporate and middle class welfare. The private sector is more than capable of delivering charging infrastructure, the government just needs to get out of the way and allow it to happen.”

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