20 Aug 2020
A BIG STEP TO QUEENSLAND’S FUTURE AS A RENEWABLE SUPERPOWER
Queensland Conservation Council and WWF-Australia have strongly welcomed today’s announcement of $145m in funding to begin the establishment of three Renewable Energy Zones in south-west, central and northern Queensland.
This will provide the plans and infrastructure to make possible the vision of Queensland as a renewable superpower, Queensland Conservation Council director, Louise Matthiesson said.
“We congratulate Premier Palaszczuk for getting behind clean energy, with this major boost to deliver jobs and economic benefits for regional Queensland, while also reducing climate pollution,” said Ms Matthieson.
“Renewable Energy Zones will accelerate and facilitate even greater long-term benefits by providing a framework for new renewable energy projects to connect to the grid, supporting local jobs, attracting investment and securing a steady pipeline of renewable energy projects in key regional hubs.”
Fossil fuels are driving extreme weather events in Queensland, including the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year, the catastrophic bushfires and extreme drought.
WWF-Australia’s Energy Transition Manager, Nicky Ison said today’s announcement to invest in clean energy would help protect Queensland’s natural wonders for future generations.
“Renewable Energy Zones are good for jobs, good for Queensland and good for the planet,” said Ms Ison.
“With its endless sunshine, huge land area, powerful winds and world-class expertise, Queensland has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. These Renewable Energy Zones can be the first step to new flourishing renewable-based export industries that guarantee good, long-term and secure jobs for regional Queenslanders.
“These zones could help deliver clean jobs in smelting aluminium from renewable energy, exporting renewable hydrogen and ammonia, and refining and processing the new metals such as vanadium that will power our batteries and other technology in the future,” said Ms Ison.
Ms Matthiesson said the Queensland Government had demonstrated leadership by taking this first step.
“We call on the Commonwealth Government to negotiate a similar deal to its one with the NSW Government that has enabled NSW Renewable Energy Zones to progress,” she said.
“We hope there is a bipartisan approach in Queensland in this pre-election period to ensure that a Queensland/Commonwealth energy deal can be reached that supports this initiative today.”