Marine conservationists have welcomed the announcement from the Queensland government that it will expand the Renewable Energy Fund from $500-million to $2-billion to support the growth of manufacturing powered by publicly-owned renewable energy.
“This is great news for our Great Barrier Reef. Unlocking clean renewable energy and storage is key to tackling climate change, [which is] our Reef’s greatest threat,” said Great Barrier Reef campaigner, David Cazzulino, of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“This announcement shows the Queensland government is listening to community members who have been demanding investment in clean energy jobs in order for us to do our fair share on climate change.
State invests in solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery storage
“The $2-billion fund will keep Queensland’s energy in public hands as the State Government invests in solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery storage that can be used to power clean manufacturing and hydrogen exports.”
Cazzulino added that, as the state’s coal-fired power stations struggled to maintain profitability compared to cheap renewable energy coming online, keeping the next generation of power in public hands meant Queenslanders would reap the benefits of lower energy costs into the future.
The society’s Great Barrier Reef Cairns campaigner, Garrett Swearingen, said: “We welcome this substantial investment which will power a shift away from fossil fuels and address global heating, the number one threat to our Reef.
Conservationists call on Federal Government to follow Qld lead
“Cairns locals have long asked for investments in renewables to protect our Reef and provide decent, clean energy jobs to our region. We wholeheartedly welcome this announcement and call on the Federal Government to follow the Queensland Government’s lead and invest in clean renewable energy, not polluting coal and gas.”
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said on Thursday that the announcement of the $2-billion ‘Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund’ was a watershed moment in the economic development of the state.
“Queensland is positioned better than anywhere in Australia to capitalise on the jobs and industries that will flow from this cheaper, cleaner energy,” the Premier said. “This … fund is all about more jobs and more industries.
“It will also support the further development of Queensland’s resources sector, while at the same time helping to deliver on our 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030.”