NQ power challenge on
Senator attacks Finkel Review in move for coal- fired energy
A COAL- FIRED power plant must be built in North Queensland as a matter of urgency if increasing electricity costs are to be suppressed, a One Nation senator says.
Malcolm Roberts will today release an independent report into Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel’s climate change document.
The report, Impacts on the Australian Economy and Australian Consumers, conducted by Dr Alan Moran, “paints a dire picture” for North Queenslanders, warning massive electricity price rises will continue and regional jobs are facing the axe under the Finkel recommendations.
The outspoken Queensland senator said electricity prices were a national emergency.
“If the figures stack up and a proper economic analysis is done first, a North Queensland coal- fired power station must be built as matter of urgency,” Senator Roberts said.
“A coal- fired power station will provide reliable and cheap electricity for North Queensland’s manufacturing industry in particular.”
The report follows last month’s release of the Finkel report, which concluded a clean energy target ( CET) was the most effective way to reduce emissions.
A CET would provide incentives for all generators to produce electricity below a certain threshold for emis- sions. But Dr Moran’s review found the Finkel recommendations were based on “unreliable and unrealistic assumptions and forecasts”.
It said the Finkel Review’s implications would devastate the economy and slug average households up to $ 768 more each year in electricity costs.
Dr Moran rejected Dr Finkel’s recommendations and said the Federal Government should abolish the renewable energy target and scrap all subsidies to bodies such as the Clean Energy Regulator and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. His recommendations entail dismantling energy market regulations that were forcing low- cost reliable coal- based electricity to be substituted for high- cost unreliable wind and solar.
Burdekin One Nation candidate Sam Cox said he supported a coal- fired power plant in North Queensland.
“I’m very excited about this report coming out,” he said.
“Residents, businesses and industry want cheaper electricity.”
Senator Malcolm Roberts.