Trevor: It’s may­hem and mad­ness

Deputy mayor hangs tight as the PM pulls the plug

The Observer - - NEWS - Sarah Ste­ger Sarah.Ste­ger@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

A COAL-fired power sta­tion in Glad­stone still has the back­ing of deputy mayor, Chris Trevor de­spite the Prime Min­is­ter throw­ing cold wa­ter over the pro­posal this week.

PM Mal­colm Turn­bull told ABC’s 7.30 pro­gram on Mon­day the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had “no plans to build a coal-fired power sta­tion,” halt­ing any lin­ger­ing hope for a new plant in cen­tral Queens­land.

His com­ments fol­low Fed­eral Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son’s de­nounce­ment of Queens­land LNP’s plan to ease power prices, say­ing “new cheap coal is a bit of a myth.”

But the rev­e­la­tion has not stopped Cr Trevor who says the ar­rival of a new coal-fired power sta­tion would bring cheap, af­ford­able base load power and lo­cal jobs.

“In all this mad­ness and may­hem to be the most re­new­able party, who is ac­tu­ally stand­ing up for the peo­ple who can least af­ford re­new­ables the most?” he said.

“I will con­tinue to per­son­ally ad­vo­cate for a new clean coal-fired power sta­tion for Glad­stone.

The coun­cil­lor said he be­lieved the fur­ther the gov­ern­ment moved away from a new cen­tral Queens­land coal-fired power sta­tion, the more lead­ers would drift from sup­port­ing the in­ter­ests of Aus­tralians.

“The renters, the pen­sion­ers, the peo­ple on fixed in­comes and the low in­come earn­ers for ex­am­ple, who can’t af­ford to put so­lar pan­els on their roof ... the very peo­ple gov­ern­ments have a duty to pro­tect.”

Queens­land Trea­surer and Act­ing En­ergy Min­is­ter, Cur­tis Pitt said the state LNP’s plan to ad­dress power costs “is a slug to tax­pay­ers of at least $2.5 bil­lion for the new plant.”

The Queens­land LNP is pur­su­ing its plan for a new plant in the aim to lower soar­ing en­ergy prices.

Mr Pitt said Mr Turn­bull’s com­ments demon­strated the need to fo­cus on re­new­able en­ergy, which he said the State Gov­ern­ment was do­ing.

“His (Mal­colm Turn­bull’s) com­ments kill off the LNP’s pro­posal ... in­dus­try, in­vestors, and in­de­pen­dent en­ergy ex­perts do not sup­port any new coal-fired plant and now the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will not back it,” he added.

Cr Trevor dis­agreed with the sole fo­cus on re­new­able en­ergy, agree­ing it was the fu­ture but say­ing it should be rolled out at a slower pace, al­low­ing time to adapt.

“When the rest of the world is build­ing hun­dreds of these new re­li­able cheap en­ergy clean coal fired power sta­tions, we have this ide­o­log­i­cal ob­ses­sion with re­new­able tar­gets,” Cr Trevor said.

Ear­lier this month, the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it would in­tro­duce a pri­vate re­tailer to the state's en­ergy mar­ket.

Cr Trevor called out the amend­ment, claim­ing the “ploy” demon­strated po­lit­i­cal favouritism to­ward the south-east cor­ner of the state, who would again reap the ben­e­fits of the change due to the “po­lit­i­cal power base” their ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion pro­vided.

“Cen­tral Queens­lan­ders are be­ing “gouged on a reg­u­lar, con­tin­u­ous and mo­not­o­nous ba­sis,” he said.

“Re­new­able en­ergy is good en­ergy ... It’s our way for­ward ... but it is ex­pen­sive and hurts the dis­ad­van­taged most ... the peo­ple who can’t af­ford it.

“We need to slow down this idio­syn­cratic drive and push, this rush, and ex­tend the time­line to en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion”

The coun­cil­lor im­plored the Gov­ern­ment to pro­tect the vul­ner­a­ble in­stead of the “mad rush to­wards re­new­able en­ergy.”

“We can do bet­ter. As a so­ci­ety we must.”

❝Who is ac­tu­ally stand­ing up for the peo­ple who can least af­ford re­new­ables

PHOTO: DIG­I­TALLY AL­TERED

MAD RUSH: Deputy mayor Chris Trevor will con­tinue to back a coal-fired power sta­tion for Glad­stone be­liev­ing the tran­sis­tion to re­new­ables needs to slow down to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.

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