The Australian Energy Council which represents 21 energy companies has dismissed the LNP and One Nation’s push to build a coal-fired power station in North Queensland.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Council Matthew Warren confirmed in a radio interview this week that Queensland doesn’t need a new coal-fired power station and that it was the least useful place in the NEM to build one.
STEVE AUSTIN (ABC Brisbane): So the Opposition is promising something we don’t need here?
MATTHEW WARREN: Yeah. We don’t… in terms of the market, it’s not signalling any need for new generation in north Queensland.
STEVE AUSTIN: In fact we’ve got so much excess we’re selling our excess into New South Wales and making money out of it for the State Government.
MATTHEW WARREN: That’s right… And it’s kind of like, Steve, why if you’ve got a problem in Victoria, why are you building something in north Queensland? From my perspective it doesn’t make any sense, we don’t think it’s anchored around what the market needs, it’s anchored around the politics of energy.
Mr Bailey said this was just the latest opinion in a long line of energy experts and industry investors who won’t back building a new coal-fired power station in Queensland proving the policy a dud that will end up being bad news for Queenslanders.
“The last time industry decided to build a new coal-fired power station in the NEM was more than a decade ago,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is a bad policy that will be bad for bills and is actively creating more uncertainty and discouraging investment.
“But that’s not surprising considering that it’s because of the LNP that we’ve been left with this energy mess by the Abbott and Turnbull Governments.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government and industry experts know it is now a lot more expensive to build new coal-fired power stations than renewable energy infrastructure which is the advice from Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.
“The Federal LNP Senator Matt Canavan admitted a new HELE coal-fired power station would cost up to $3 billion dollars to build with the Federal Treasurer saying “new cheap coal is a bit of a myth” and that it would take seven years to build,” he said.
Federal Member for Kennedy recently told ABC – “I mean, how could any Government conceive of the stupidity like another base-load coal-fired power station in North Queensland?”
“There is a reason why there is a renewable energy boom happening in Queensland right now and not a coal-fired power station boom,” Mr Bailey said.
“Queensland is reaping the benefits of renewable investment kick started by the Palaszczuk Government because we have the policy settings right through our 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target which the Renewable Energy Expert Panel has shown will have a cost neutral impact on power prices.
“No other state has more renewable projects under development than Queensland which means jobs, jobs, jobs in the regions.
“At present, there are 18 large-scale renewable energy projects currently under construction, with a further four projects that will soon start construction supporting over 3,000 direct construction jobs in regional Queensland and providing a $3.7 billion investment boost.
“Queenslanders haven’t forgotten the renewable energy job losses and they won’t soon forget the electricity price rises caused by the state and Federal LNP’s ideological obsession with coal.”