Thursday 16 March, 2017
The Prime Minister’s $2 billion pledge today to boost the electricity supply coming out of NSW’s Snowy Mountains Scheme is a timely reminder to the people of North Queensland that they have a fight on their hands to secure Federal support for a clean coal power station.
The Federal Government will today unveil plans to build a “Snowy 2.0” to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes and meet electricity demand in NSW and Victoria. The project is expected to drive down electricity costs in NSW and Victoria.
The expansion of the Snowy Hydro System is more than double the size of the 800MW clean coal power station proposed by Townsville Enterprise which has been estimated by GHD to cost $1.778 billion.
CEO of The Australian Power Project Nathan Vass said it’s clear that the battle to win the support of the Prime Minister for a power station in North Queensland is far from over.
“North Queensland desperately needs a clean coal power station to bring stability to wholesale electricity prices which have increased by 168% during the five years to 2017.
“It’s simply not possible for North Queensland businesses to compete with Brisbane based manufacturing companies, let alone those in NSW and Victoria, where wholesale electricity prices are substantially lower.
“In a country like Australia, it’s unacceptable that North Queensland has to pay the additional costs of generating electricity more than 1,300km away in south east and central Queensland.
“North Queensland must today make clear to the Prime Minister that they urgently need a clean coal power station built in the region.
“Countries like Japan, South Korea, America and China are all powering their manufacturing sectors using ultra-super critical power stations, which deliver affordable, reliable power with emissions 30% lower than those typically generated in Australia.
“A report by GHD on the benefits of a Townsville based clean coal power station are compelling. $836 million in local economic benefits and a boost to national income of $2.2 billion.
“North Queenslanders should visit http://www.australianpowerproject.com.au/townsville-petition/ and sign the petition for a locally based clean coal power station.
“It’s clear from the Prime Minister’s announcement today that other parts of Australia are fighting hard for not just his ear, but also his wallet. North Queensland must deliver to the PM the message that while they support him taking action to address power prices in NSW and Victoria, they must not be forgotten,” Nathan Vass said.
Nathan Vass is a former energy and resources executive who created the Australian Power Project to promote sustainable national energy policy.Contact: Nathan Vass 0412 972 776