Premier Campbell Newman.
Premier Campbell Newman. Luka Kauzlaric

Newman says time to look for Queensland's next big export

COAL has been good for Queensland, but Premier Campbell Newman thinks it's time to look for Queensland's next big thing.

Mr Newman said coal would remain a major part of the economy, but could not be relied on forever.

He said while the growing gas industry was a "cleaner" fuel that could be a transitional base for the economy, the growing coal market in India was something Queensland had to take advantage of.

"Queensland has to move to a new type of economy, and I've said that before ladies and gentleman. I mean coal has been great for this state over many decades. And coal will be very important for some decades to come," he said.

"I think the point needs to be made to take 1.3 billion people out of poverty is going to require significant energy and coal particularly is what they're after.

"If Queensland doesn't sell our cleaner coal, our low emissions coal, to them it will be acquired from other places … I think the opportunity for Queensland is to provide a superior product as we work here to try and transition our economy in the future."

The comments came after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for almost all fossil fuels to be phased out by 2100 to stop climate change.

Opposition MP Jackie Trad said Mr Newman had moved funds away from renewable energy projects.

She said while moving away from a coal-based economy would be a "big deal" for Queensland, so was climate change.

"We are vulnerable to extreme weather events: flooding, drought. Changing climate is something Queenslanders are acutely aware of. That's why under Labor we did invest quite a bit in terms of renewable energy in Queensland.

"What (the LNP) have also done is cancel every single renewable energy project in Queensland."


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