The Palaszczuk Government’s new Energy and Jobs Plan is an important step to move the state towards clean renewables and away from coal, but is unfortunately let down by also proposing new publicly-funded fossil gas projects, says Lock the Gate Alliance.
The Alliance is particularly concerned about the government’s plan to build a new gas peaking power plant on the Western Downs, and the suggestions that the government is prepared to continue subsidising the construction of the controversial Bowen Basin gas pipeline.
In 2020, both state and federal governments faced heat over decisions to jointly fund a feasibility study into the pipeline, after fracking company Blue Energy openly lobbied for public money for that very pipeline only months earlier.
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Ellen Roberts said, “We’re pleased to see the Palaszczuk Government’s increased ambition on the rollout of renewable energy and a vital repowering of the state’s coal fired power stations.
“This shows the Palaszczuk Government recognises we are moving towards renewables - which are the cheapest and most reliable form of energy.
“However we are concerned the government plans to subsidise a fossil gas peaking power station, as well as the notorious Bowen Basin gas pipeline. Australia has sufficient gas peaking power stations - we don’t need any more.
"The Queensland community doesn’t support new, publicly funded gas fired power stations. The reality is renewable hydrogen is still a long way off - it’s likely this peaker will be fossil gas powered for some time to come.
“Big energy companies like Origin are walking away from building new gas projects because the global outlook is increasingly shaky for fossil gas as the world moves to mitigate the climate crisis.
“Not only is there no future for gas from a climate perspective, but it’s also expensive and we don’t want to see the Palaszczuk Government locking in high price gas that will mean more costly power bills for Queenslanders.
“The Palaszczuk Government has recognised coal has a finite future, and is doing the right thing investing in renewables. It’s time it recognises gas also has a finite future.”