– Lu Allen, Advocacy Manager, RE-Alliance, based in Cairns.
Today marks a historic turning point for Queensland's energy system.
Today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the long awaited Queensland Power Plan, which she titled a “renewable energy industrial revolution”.
The plan—a massive win for Queensland’s regions—includes thousands of regional jobs in wind, solar, and manufacturing here in Queensland to achieve 80% renewables by 2035.
The plan also includes a number of other welcome measures for regions:
- New clean energy manufacturing hubs
- Two new regional training hubs in Gladstone and Townsville
- A legislated Job Security Guarantee for energy workers
- A smarter grid to support 11 GW of rooftop solar and 6 GW of batteries in homes and businesses
- Transforming all state-owned coal plants to clean energy hubs
Today Queensland has demonstrated huge ambition to become a world-leading renewable energy superpower.
The big win for Queenslanders is that our energy assets will continue to be publicly-owned, so—unlike Southern states—everyone in Queensland will benefit from our abundant wind and sun for decades to come.
We want to see more publicly-owned energy projects in Australia to make sure that the profits from our rich Australian sun and wind energy stay local.
Coopers Gap Wind Farm, Queensland.
This plan is a wonderful and welcome relief for our regions who have been trying to make sense of industry announcements in a vacuum of planning and coordination from the Government.
I’m particularly pleased to see on pg 50 of the report a commitment to reviewing the planning framework for renewables, and $35M for improving strategic planning under Queensland’s Renewable Energy Zones.
On page 55 there is a list of further work the Government is doing to add detail to their plan, including a series of consultation sessions across regional Queensland. I recommend you look out for these and try to get along.
We want to know that local-led planning will be fully resourced so regional communities are respected as partners in the process. That is how we achieve the best outcomes for our regional workers, First Nations groups and our environment.
We’ll continue looking through the details and encouraging the Government to be more ambitious for what the renewable energy industrial revolution can deliver for regional Queensland.