13 March, 2017
Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin
A North Queensland baseload power station would be given “priority project” status and approvals fast-tracked should the LNP win the next state election.
Liberal National Party Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington told the Townsville Bulletin yesterday a coal-fired power station would provide the region with energy and economic security for generations to come.
“We would use the powers of the Coordinator General such as prescribed project status to ensure secondary approvals were provided in a timely manner,” she said.
“Senator Matt Canavan has said he will consider applications from private sector proponents interested in developing a coal-fired power station from the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.”
She said it was crucial to give private sector proponents the opportunity to tap in that fund.
“We have a window of opportunity for private investors to tap into the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It is so disappointing that in Townsville you have all wall-to-wall Labor members who have no interest in giving proponents the opportunity to tap into the fund which is there.” Ms Frecklington said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor colleagues were not listening to the people of North Queensland.
“It beggars belief that Annastacia Palaszczuk would look a gift horse in the mouth and rule out supporting a coal-fired power station in North Queensland,” she said. “Southeast Queensland has them, why should North Queensland miss out?”
Ms Frecklington said North Queensland residents, manufacturers and businesses were crying out for access to affordable and reliable electricity.
“Townsville cannot afford to have another refinery close because of soaring power prices witnessed under (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk — it would be devastating for workers and the city’s economy,” she said.
Townsville Enterprise released an energy report last week which revealed electricity prices across Queensland had increased by 168 per cent in the five years to 2017. North Queensland was hit hardest, having to pay for power generated up to 1300km away.
“Unlike Annastacia Palaszczuk, the LNP realises reliable and affordable baseload power would provide North Queensland, and cities such as Townsville, energy and economic security for generations to come,” Ms Frecklington said.