The Palaszczuk Government has ridiculed the LNP for their so called “Real Plan” for renewable energy, calling it a failed effort to cover up their ideological obsession with coal-fired generation.
Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said Tim Nicholls and the LNP cannot be trusted when it comes to renewable energy and power prices, labelling their policy as a step backwards for Queensland.
“Queenslanders haven’t forgotten the 43 per cent increases they saw during the term of the previous LNP government with Tim Nicholls as Treasurer – he promised households a $120 saving but instead whacked them with a $436 increase on average. ” Mr Pitt said.
“The LNP should be apologising to Queenslanders instead of spruiking their broken promise as an achievement.
“The LNP are proposing a vacuous ‘nothing’ plan for renewable energy that would be a step backwards for Queensland – a shoddy policy made up of existing procedures which seeks to take credit for the Palaszczuk Government’s hard work and leadership.
“We saw a renewable energy blackout under the LNP, not one large-scale renewable project was commissioned during their term and 1,300 renewable industry jobs were lost.
“When he was Treasurer, Tim Nicholl’s cut funding for the planned Cloncurry Solar project and withdrew funding for the Solar Dawn project near Chinchilla.
“In stark comparison, under the Palaszczuk Government a renewable energy boom is underway and the first large-scale solar projects in Queensland have now come on-line.
“There are another 20 projects either commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements with a collective almost 1800 megawatts capacity (larger than Queensland’s largest power station), supporting over 2,800 direct construction jobs in regional Queensland and providing a $3.4 billion investment boost.
“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the nation in large-scale renewable energy projects under construction or starting in 2017 – we have the most megawatts, most investment and most jobs, as recently confirmed by the Clean Energy Council.
“We have made up for time and jobs lost under the LNP.
“Queensland is reaping the benefits of renewable investment because we have got the policy settings right through our 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET) by 2030.
“The independent Renewable Energy Expert Panel confirmed our RET will be cost neutral over 13 years, delivering significant economic benefits to Queensland while maintaining system security and reliability.
“Instead of listening to the experts, the LNP want to scrap Queensland’s state-based RET, falling in to line behind their colleagues in Canberra.
“It’s a case of the blind leading the blind. They have no plan for renewable energy beyond 2020, leaving industry in the dark and stifling future investment.
“We know, and industry experts know, it is now a lot more expensive to build new coal-fired power stations than renewable energy infrastructure.
“A new-coal fired power station would take seven years to build and cost upward of $3 billion.
“I do want to thank the LNP for recognising the benefits of our direction to publically owned energy businesses in 2015 – something that wouldn’t have been possible if they had been sold off as planned by Tim Nicholls.
“Our $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan retains electricity assets in public ownership, promotes Queensland’s sustainable energy mix including coal, gas and renewables, and provides power bill concessions to vulnerable Queenslanders.”