‘ YOU CAN’T SAY NO TO COAL’ New en­ergy plant hailed as so­lu­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

A N E X T - G E N E R A T I O N coal- fired power plant in North Queens­land could pave the way for a na­tional roll­out of the tech­nol­ogy while solv­ing en­ergy sup­ply and cost is­sues, says Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil CEO Ian Mac­far­lane.

Mr Mac­far­lane was com­ment­ing on re­ports the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity was con­sid­er­ing fund­ing a high- ef­fi­ciency low- emis­sions ( HELE) coal- fired power plant in the North.

Mr Mac­far­lane said the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment should change its views and sup­port the con­struc­tion of HELE plants to help meet fu­ture power de­mands in­stead of re­ly­ing so heav­ily on re­new­able en­ergy re­sources.

“The State Gov­ern­ment needs to take a more re­al­is­tic view,” Mr Mac­far­lane said.

“Just by build­ing an­other coal- fired power plant doesn’t mean we can’t meet that re­new­ables tar­get.

“I had dis­cus­sions about HELE sta­tions while I was in Ja­pan – ev­ery other coun­try is build­ing them but us.

“Other­wise we’re con­demn­ing North Queens­land to higher elec­tric­ity prices.”

Ms Palaszczuk yes­ter­day said she re­mained op­posed to a new coal- fired power sta­tion.

“We have a plan of get­ting to 50 per cent re­new­ables by 2030,” she said. “I’ve just come back from the United States and what in­vestors told me is that they want to in­vest in re­new­ables be­cause the State Gov­ern­ment has a tar­get.

“We need to open up more gas re­serves be­cause you need a good mix of ex­ist­ing coal fire mov­ing through to gas.”

Mr Mac­far­lane said Queens­land could not rely solely on re­new­able en­ergy to meets its fu­ture de­mands.

“You can’t just say no coal,” he said. “If gas is go­ing to fill the hole they ( the State Gov­ern­ment) are go­ing to need to fill that hole quite quickly.”

Fed­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van said it made no sense for Aus­tralia to turn its back on HELE plants.

“The Q u e e n s l a n d Gov e r n ment has set an unr e a l i s t i c a l l y high re­new­able en­ergy tar- get, with­out the baseload power to sup­port it,” he said. “That risks turn­ing North Queens­land into an­other ex­per­i­ment like South Aus­tralia – where the lights went out com­pletely. “Plenty of other coun­tries are us­ing ad­vanced coal tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing high- ef­fi­ciency low- emis­sions coal- fired power.” Mr Cana­van sup­ported NAIF’s con­sid­er­a­tion of fund­ing a power plant in the North. “The NAIF’s pur­pose is to cre­ate in­vest­ment in North­ern Aus­tralia,” he said. “Given a coal- fired power sta­tion could sup­port new jobs and new in­vest­ment, it makes sense for a project like that to be con­sid­ered by the NAIF if there’s an ap­pli­ca­tion. “But ul­ti­mately that mat­ter for the NAIF.” When asked whether the State Gov­ern­ment would ad­min­is­ter a NAIF loan from for a new plant, Ms Palaszczuk said it had not “given out a sin­gle dol­lar”. “But what we’re hear­ing very clearly is that ( Op­po­si­tion Leader) Tim Ni­cholls and the LNP keep want­ing tax­pay­ers money to build a brand new $ 2 bil­lion c o a l - f i r e d power sta­tion on the doorstep to the Great Bar­rier Reef,” the Pre­mier said. CLIVE Palmer’s clos­est staff and al­lies who have cruised south­ern Europe on his dime will re­turn to Bris­bane this week as courts con­tinue to go af­ter the for­mer MP’s mil­lions.

But Mr Palmer ( pic­tured) is show­ing no signs of stress, p post­ing on Face­book a thumbs up, while stand­ing near a mon­key made out of a towel in a suite aboard a cruise ship.

It is un­der­stood the glo­bet trot­ting Mr Palmer is in Slov- is a enia and will travel to Corfu be­fore re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia.

Mr Palmer is fac­ing one of his tough­est le­gal chal­lenges – try­ing to pre­serve his af­flu­ent life­style threat­ened by Gov­ern­ment- ap­pointed liq­uida­tors.

A tax­payer- funded law suit, lodged in the Supreme Court of Bris­bane, is seek­ing up to $ 350 mil­lion to pay debts owed to Queens­land Nickel.

Tax­pay­ers were forced pay for the en­ti­tle­ments to of about 800 work­ers in Townsville af­ter QN col­lapsed.

Mr Palmer has de­fended shout­ing staff and friends to the cruise. It is un­der­stood He has or­dered staff not to speak to the me­dia dur­ing it.

It is not known if Mr Palmer has spo­ken to his ab­sent for­mer QN di­rec­tor and nephew Clive Mensink, who has been or­dered home to give ev­i­dence in court about QN.



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