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Labor hits back at One Nation's energy plans for CQ

SOLAR SURGE: Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey speaking at Surat Basin Enterprise National Energy Summit.
SOLAR SURGE: Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey speaking at Surat Basin Enterprise National Energy Summit. Contributed

THE Queensland Labor party has poured cold water over One Nation's plan to reduce power prices announced last week in Rockhampton.

Queensland's One Nation leader Steve Dickson and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson intended to reallocate $5.4 billion from the cross river rail project in Brisbane towards regional water infrastructure projects and the construction of a coal-fired power station.

Queensland's Minister for Energy Mark Bailey responded to the plan saying Steve Dickson had his basic facts wrong and that cheap new coal generation was a myth.

"To be saying that he could build a new coal-fired power station for $1.5 billion is just nonsense and it would take seven years to build,” Mr Bailey said.

"By suggesting he's going to cut prices, he's living in la la land.

"The fact is new renewable energy is now much cheaper to build than coal-fired power stations and that's the best outcome for people's bills.”

He said Mr Dickson presided over a 43% rise in power prices and the closure of the Collinsville power station as a member of Campbell Newman's government.

With power stations at Stanwell, Gladstone, Callide, Mr Bailey said Queensland had the most robust and secure power system in the country with "oodles” of base-load power and there was no need for another power station.

He said the key to lowering power prices was to keep the power assets in public hands and to build the cheapest energy infrastructure with the lightest impact on people's bills.

SOLAR SIGNING: Edify Energy Chief Executive John Cole and Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey signed the support deeds with Edify Energy for the 58 megawatt Whitsunday Solar Farm.
SOLAR SIGNING: Edify Energy Chief Executive John Cole and Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey signed the support deeds with Edify Energy for the 58 megawatt Whitsunday Solar Farm.

"And that's renewable energy, that's not just my view, it's the view of most people in the energy industry and the chief scientist of this country,” Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said Queensland was currently undergoing a clean energy boom with $3.3 billion worth of investment producing nearly half of the new energy infrastructure in the country.

"We've got 20 large scale renewable energy projects that have either been completed, being constructed or about to start construction in the near future in Queensland.”

"That's driven by our 50% renewable energy target by 2030.”

Mr Bailey said most of these projects were solar but they were also utilising hydro-storage and building wind projects, including the largest in Australia at Coopers Gap.

The CQ region hosts a number of renewable projects and as economics continue to improve, Mr Bailey expected to see more rolled out in the future.

"There's currently a 50meg solar farm getting built at Lilyvale, just north of Emerald,” he said.

"The Barcaldine solar farm is complete and there is also a second solar farm scheduled to be built at Emerald as well.

"Solar is 80% cheaper than it was in 2009 and falling.”

He said all of their solar farms could be retrofitted (with batteries) as the costs of battery storage continue to fall allowing for 24 hour renewable power.

Mr Bailey called for an end to the "policy paralysis” that was keeping power prices high.

"We have a broken national electricity market and what we need from Canberra is an energy policy that will give industry more certainty which will help with prices.”

Topics:  campbell newman clean energy mark bailey one nation party pauline hanson renewable energy steve dickson



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