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Public inquiry to establish renewable energy target strategy

A formidable team of business, energy, and environmental experts will lead the public inquiry into establishing Queensland’s 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey and Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles announced last week the make-up of the expert panel that will investigate and identify the pathway to adopting the target.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to increasing the uptake of renewable energy to create the jobs of the future, continue to boost investment, act on climate change, and also deliver value for both customers and government,” Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said the expert panel would be chaired by Colin Mugglestone, an investment banker, engineer, and experienced business executive who retired from Macquarie Capital in 2014 with more than 30 years experience in the infrastructure sector, working on projects throughout Australia, the UK, south-east Asia and Norway.

“This panel deliberately has a strong business and commercial focus, as well as the renewable energy sector, because we’re serious about the commercial opportunities available in this area for Queensland. We’re focussed on delivering jobs of the future by acting on climate change.

“While Queensland is leading the world in the uptake of household solar per capita, we experienced no uptake of large-scale renewable energy projects under the previous LNP Government, which sat on its hands while Queensland lost 1300 renewable energy sector jobs,” he said.

“Since being elected we have already encouraged large scale solar investment by announcing our Solar 60 initiative which will provide long-term funding support for Queensland-based solar energy projects.”

Dr Miles said the expert panel announced today will lead a public inquiry to determine how the adoption of a renewable energy target and other polices can drive the development of a renewable energy economy for Queensland.

“Panel members have been chosen from an outstanding field of high quality candidates and I congratulate them on their appointment. They have been chosen for their expertise in renewable energy, climate change, energy market policy and regulation, and public policy,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has consistently had a strong position on climate action, and the announcement of today’s panel is yet another example of us acting on that position.”

Minister Bailey said that as part of the public inquiry, the panel will undertake a comprehensive public consultation program, which will give Queenslanders an opportunity to have their say on the proposed target.

“Consultation will include public forums throughout Queensland with the panel to engage with consumer groups, households, peak energy industry bodies, energy businesses and unions,” he said.

“The panel will deliver a final report to Government toward the end of the year, which will include the outcomes of public consultation process from right across regional Queensland, as well as the South East.”

The inquiry’s scope will be guided by and test the Queensland Government’s renewable energy objectives, which include:

  • assessing and establishing a credible pathway for up to 50 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030;
  • a target of one million solar rooftops or 3,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by 2020;
  • promoting long term benefits for energy consumers; and
  • integrating smoothly and equitably with well-functioning energy markets.

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