It’s a point of no return
NORTH Queensland residents and businesses are increasingly struggling to find the exorbitant amounts of money needed to pay rising electricity bills.
Our region needs relief from the crushing bills that are leaving local families and businesses struggling to pay for everyday necessities such as putting a meal on the table.
The Minerals Council of Australia report, released yesterday, found that a high efficiency low emissions ( HELE) coalfired power plant would reduce electricity costs, and this is welcome news to regions such as Townsville.
A HELE plant would not only increase capacity and reduce prices for North Queenslanders but also help the nation achieve its emissions targets.
By 2030, 8GW of coal plants are expected to retire.
However new- technology plants would guarantee the North’s energy for decades to come, while reducing emissions.
The report found that if all existing coal plants in Australia were upgraded to HELE technology, it would reduce overall emissions by 45 million tonnes a year.
It also addresses the long- term opportunity for viable carbon capture and storage options ( CCS).
When paired with CCS, ultra super critical black coal would cost between $ 69 and $ 165 per MWh, and wind with USC and black coal would cost $ 88-$ 196.
No one is suggesting renewables should not be part of Queensland’s energy future, but South Australia is a great example of what can happen when rushing to lead the way trumps basic economic common sense.
The State Government’s 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 can still be achieved if the North receives its own coal- fired power plant.
One of our greatest natural assets – coal – is just down the highway.
The North is perfectly situated to house a coal generator, which would not only place downward pressure on electricity prices but cut the region’s transmission costs.
And with yet another report confirming that North Queensland’s backyard is well positioned for economic development, it’s time the State Government stopped sidelining the idea and made it a reality. be constructed in two stages;
No federal funds committed to enable construction in one stage. Matched funding would provide 80+ year water security. We only have one chance to get this right;
Timeframe for unresolved landholder agreements. UNKNOWNS
Will the new steel pipe be concrete- lined, which determines flow and maintenance costs?
The taskforce recommended that within 3- 15 years, another pipeline will connect the new Haughton pipeline to Clare with a 364ML/ day capacity pump station at the site. Is the extension to Clare ( in Stage 2) the same as WFTAG’s Tom Fenwick option where there is already a large pump station? There is, of course, no guarantee of additional state funding in the future to carry out staged construction.
What will council’s definitions for water security and water management be and what pumping trigger? Even with a gold- plated pipeline, not pumping to avoid Level 3 restrictions would not provide the security required.
The state has released a report into the Lower Burdekin Catchment Projects with concerns about the likely impact of another pipe- line on groundwater, salinity and wetlands. Until the full report is available we cannot comment on design, route changes or delays;
Will the Premier and LNP leader publicly pressure the Federal Government to match their funding commitments? If not why not?
Will the taskforce recommend that the state owns infrastructure rather than council or private?
There is no reference to needing a new $ 100m treatment plant.
Did the taskforce recommend two- stage construction starting with the already designed TCC duplicate and the equivalent state budget allocation?
There is now an opportunity for the Federal Government to match state funding. We are advocating a grant, not a NAIF loan, for the first ever City Deal’s top priority of water security, not just as a signatory.
WFTAG’s activism will be directed at convincing the Coalition that people in Townsville are awaiting, with electoral interest, the commitment of funds to allow staged infrastructure to be combined.
To this end, WFTAG needs to grow: 12,000 is great but 20,000+ is a much more audible, credible community voice. Call our hotline, 0419 713 242, or join us on FB. We need to keep the water pressure on.