Imminent threat to Gladstone jobs as power prices rocket

A NEW coal-fired power station in Queensland is needed to drop our state's electricity prices and support struggling industries.

That was the message from Queensland Resources Council's Ian Macfarlane during his visit to Gladstone today.

The chief executive of the industry-funded body said our region would benefit from a move to use more coal to power the state's electricity grid which would lower electricity prices.

The new power station, proposed for north Queensland, would help support job creation in Gladstone and industries struggling to afford electricity prices, Mr Macfarlane said.

"(Lower electricity prices) make it more competitive for industries to do things like aluminium smelting, to do those high energy processing jobs," he said.

Coal generic Hay Point Coal Terminal stacker retriver
Coal generic Hay Point Coal Terminal stacker retriver Emily Smith

"That means more jobs here in Gladstone, even if the power station is in Townsville.

"(Without change) it does put jobs at risk ... We need to be globally competitive."

Boyne Smelter Limited is no stranger to high electricity prices, and made a very public plea about their troubles earlier this year, claiming it could soon cut jobs because of a power price hike.

Negotiations are ongoing with the electricity generators for a deal for 70MWh of BSL's supply.

Funding for the power station has been supported by minister for Northern Australia Matthew Canavan, who has said it a would put "downward pressure" on Queensland power prices.

Mr Macfarlane said at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Industry breakfast crowd the future of resources was "prosperous".

His background in politics was on full show, taking aim at the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and the 'greenies' during his speech.

"The death of the coal industry is greatly exaggerated," he said.



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