Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister, Curtis Pitt, says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pulled the plug on any proposal for a new coal-fired power plant in North Queensland.
“The one idea Tim Nicholls and the LNP have put on the table for addressing power costs is to slug taxpayers at least $2.5 billion for a new North Queensland coal-fired power station,” Mr Pitt said.
“Like all of the LNP’s ideas this is just an uncosted and unfunded thought bubble masquerading as a plan.
“Last night on the ABC’s 7.30 program the Prime Minister rejected funding a NQ coal-fired plant, saying: ‘We have no plans to build a coal-fired power station…’.
“Mr Turnbull went on to emphasise the need to focus on renewable energy, as the Palaszczuk Government is doing.
“His comments kill off the LNP’s proposal — industry, investors, and independent energy experts do not support any new coal-fired plant and now the federal government will not back it.
“The PM’s comments follow those of Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison who has said that ‘new cheap coal is a bit of a myth’ when it comes to easing power prices.
“Former federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the new plant would cost somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion.
“Tim Nicholls now has no answer to keeping pressure on power prices.
“By contrast the Palaszczuk Government has a clear and comprehensive Powering Queensland Plan.
“We have used all the resources and powers available to us to keep pressure on power prices, including issuing several directives to our publicly owned power bodies — something Mr Nicholls could not do if he sold them off as he has always wanted to do.
“Al the LNP can do is come up with thought bubbles that are uncosted and unfunded in the Budget forward estimates.
“Last week they made a firm commitment to build the unviable and environmentally destructive $4.2 billion Tully Millstream hydro project, but that’s also not backed by a single cent in the State Budget forward estimates.
“The LNP ‘spendometer’ stands at $19 billion including these uncosted power proposals and Mr Nicholls needs to explain where the money is coming from.
“He also needs to explain where the extra power for Queensland households and businesses is coming from now that his NQ coal-fired power plant thought bubble has been popped by the PM,” Mr Pitt said.