Tasmania has led the way in Australia on renewable energy for some time now.

We have set ourselves apart from the rest of the nation through the integration of wind and hydro technology, and by tapping into Bass Strait fibre cable opportunities.

Tasmania can continue to lead the way if the correct policies, strategies and mindset are put in place- now.

By looking at renewable energy as an investment in Australia’s future and leveraging new opportunities Tasmania could become a world leader in this field.

Tony Abbott and his Liberals have done everything in their power to mess with renewable energy in Australia, and come election time there will be a clear cut choice between Labor and the Liberals when it comes to renewable energy.

Unlike the Liberals, Labor will not abandon the renewable energy industry.

Labor has a plan for the future and has set a bold target for 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030.

Every major economy is transitioning to renewable energy and achieving this target this would lift Australia in line with leading nations.

If you look to the rest of the world, China, America and Germany are already investing heavily in renewables.

Last year investment in renewables around the world grew by 16 per cent.

At the same time, renewables investment dropped by 88 per cent in Australia. This is a step in the wrong direction, and must be rectified as soon as possible.

The Abbott Government’s continued hostility towards renewables will see Australia slip down the ranks and fall behind. We can’t afford to be left behind.

Renewable energy promises to be one of the leading industries of the 21st century, and a long term strategy should focus on attracting investment.

Over $2.5 trillion is expected to be invested in renewables in the Asia Pacific region by 2030 – we need to make sure this investment is made here in Tasmania.

Cutting pollution and driving investment in renewable energy will lift productivity, leading to more jobs for Tasmanians and lower power bills for families and small business.

Some Australian businesses are already transitioning to renewable energy and many households are already transitioning to solar, but more must be done.

It’s time to transition to a clean energy future.

Labor is the only major party which puts renewable energy at the centre of Australia’s response to climate change.

This article was originally published in The Mercury on Friday, 4 September 2015.