17 November, 2017

Domanii Cameron

Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin

A new poll has revealed 65 per cent of voters across key North Queensland battleground seats support a high-efficiency low-emissions (HELE) coal-fired power station.

The ReachTEL poll, commissioned by the Australian Power Project, also found 75 per cent of voters would base their vote on energy policies.

Australian Power Project chief executive Nathan Vass said high power prices were putting the brakes on economic growth in the North.

“Families and businesses in the North are currently paying more for their power because of the transmission costs of delivering electricity from the south,” he said.

“So far only the LNP and One Nation have committed to building a new HELE power station, and I would hope this poll gives Labor and the other parties reason to reconsider their opposition to it.”

Mr Vass said with the North’s abundant natural resources, voters wanted to see responsible management of energy assets and investment in HELE plants was crucial.

“Countries such as China, India, Japan, United States, South Korea and the Netherlands have all invested in HELE power stations to deliver cheap and reliable electricity for their people,” he said.

The poll also found 38 per cent of voters in regional Queensland opposed Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target, compared with just 32 per cent who supported it.

“Last month the ACCC reported that Queenslanders have the highest average power bills in Australia, forking out $1955 in the past financial year,” Mr Vass said. “Voters are very wary of paying more for their electricity because of ideological green targets.”

The poll also found 61 per cent of voters in battleground seats Townsville, Mundingburra, and Thuringowa supported more competition for Ergon Energy.

“What I think has been missed in the debate so far is an underlying dissatisfaction in the community with Ergon, and the subsequent lack of choice,” Mr Vass said. “If a new HELE power station can provide competition and choice to Ergon, that’s going to reduce power prices even further.”