One Nation blasts opponents of NQ coal-fired power station
THE One Nation Party has thrown strong support behind the Federal Government’s efforts to provide money for a feasibility study for Australia’s first 1GW HELE coal-fired power station in Collinsville.
This comes after New South Wales Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, backed by the Labor Party and the Greens, lodged a notice to disallow the legislative instrument that would provide $3.3 million in funding to Shine Energy to carry out the study examining the viability of the power station project.
In addition to boosting Queensland’s baseload power, the project was expected to create 2000 jobs during construction and 600 operational jobs.
The Federal Government, led by Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Queensland Senator Matt Canavan, has framed the potential funding roadblock as a test for Labor’s support of the resource industry, jobs and lower power prices in regional Australia.
Senator Hanson said there was a need for another coal-fired power station in North Queensland.
“That’s what the rest of the world is looking to do. They realise that renewable energy will not generate the reliable power required to run our businesses and power our homes at a reasonable cost,” Senator Hanson said.
“Senator McAllister needs to keep her bloody nose out of it. She has no understanding of the high prices the people of North Queensland pay for their electricity. She hasn’t got a clue.
“This is more proof that Labor puts climate alarmism ahead of affordable energy, manufacturing and jobs.”
“I won’t be supporting her motion, no way in the world.”
The issue of supporting the coal industry is something close to the heart for former coal miner Wade Rothery, who was contesting the seat of Keppel for One Nation in the upcoming State Election.
“Queensland faces the same unreliable and expensive energy future as Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales if Labor and the LNP continue to demonise and shut down ageing coal-fired power plants without building new High Energy, Low Emission (HELE) replacements,” Mr Rothery said.
“Affordable, coal-fired electricity is critical to Central Queensland’s industries and mining which feeds into the Keppel economy.
“In other words, no coal equals way less jobs.”
He said every Labor Senator needed to support the motion to deliver a new HELE coal-fired power station in Collinsville would he believed would ultimately reduce power costs and secure North Queensland’s energy needs.
“The casting vote remains with One Nation Senators, Malcolm Roberts, and Pauline Hanson who will be voting to reject Labor’s attempts to shut down the future use of coal in Queensland,” he said.
“One Nation is not hostile to renewable energy sources, however, we are realistic about their shortfalls which have been demonstrated in southern states.
“The shut down of coal-fired power stations in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales has caused countless blackouts and load shedding, which occurs when power companies start switching off their customers’ power supply because the entire system is at risk.”
He said these states may promote a clean, green future of solar panels and wind turbines, but what they failed to tell people was that they were buying electricity from Queensland which was generating power using coal.
Compared to China’s cheaper wages and power prices, he said Australia was losing its competitive advantage.
“No one is advocating for lower wages here in Australia, but we can afford to lower power prices to save what’s left of our manufacturing industries here in Queensland and reduce the cost of living on families and our retirees,” he said.
“As a coal miner, I will forever defend the coal industry here in Central Queensland and advocate for new HELE power plants that will continue to prop up a very unreliable and costly renewable energy sector.”
Ms Landry said was confident that the new power station wouldn’t drive up the cost of power, estimating that it would cost less than $2 billion and take less than two years to build once the 12-18 month long feasibility study was completed.
While $3.3 million of tax payers’ money would be spent on the study, she confirmed that no tax payer’s would go towards the construction of the power station.
“While we expected the Greens to oppose the legislative instrument, I didn’t expect the former workers party to oppose a project which stands to deliver cheaper power prices, more employment opportunities and a raft of economic benefits to Collinsville,” Ms Landry said.
“We saw their infighting on full display at the last federal election. Now, they have left no doubt in the minds of Central and North Queenslanders that the Labor Party has abandoned them.”
Senator Canavan accused the Labor Party of siding with the Greens over hardworking regional families.
“Once again Labor has deserted its working-class roots to side with Green activists who oppose coal. The green left remains in control of the once proud Labor Party and no matter how many times Joel Fitzgibbon dons a hi-vis shirt, Labor’s opposition to coal power shows that he is all shirt and no shovel,” Senator Canavan said.
“If Labor won’t support coal fired power stations here, how can you rely on them to support the export of our coal to power stations overseas?
“The people of Queensland voted for the Coalition in droves last year which included our policy to support coal power in North Queensland. By trying to stop this, the Labor Party is once again ignoring Queenslanders.”
Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt defended Labor’s decision to oppose spending taxpayer funds on a project that the Liberal Party says will never happen.
“Just today, senior Liberals have said the project ‘does not stack up economically or environmentally’ and ‘will never proceed’,” Senator Watt said.
“Why do Michelle Landry, Ken O’Dowd and Matt Canavan want to waste precious taxpayer funds on something that will never happen?
“Deb Frecklington and the State LNP don’t support this funding, Bob Katter doesn’t support this funding and the Federal Liberal Party doesn’t either.”
Senator Watt said Labor supported lower power prices, but he believed this project would drive prices up.
“Why do the Federal LNP MPs want to inflict higher power prices on Central Queenslanders?” he said.
“Surely they’d be better off working with Labor to come up with a bipartisan energy policy, rather than wasting money on projects that will never happen.
“If Michelle Landry, Ken O’Dowd and Matt Canavan are serious about helping miners, they’ll stop making coal miners work as “permanent casuals”.
“They should convince their own government to pull out of its High Court case that would make the “permanent casual” rort permanent.”