The Central Queensland Energy Summit at Central Queensland University, Gladstone.
The Central Queensland Energy Summit at Central Queensland University, Gladstone.

Push for co-ordination to seize clean energy needed for CQ

Calls for co-ordination across the energy sector to seize clean energy opportunities across Central Queensland came from stakeholders at the final day of the Energy Futures Summit.

Community conversation to broaden the understanding of the transformation of the energy sector was regarded as an important step in taking advantage of the opportunities on offer.

Central Queensland University Gladstone played host to 150 stakeholders, who discussed what needed to be done to manage the energy transformation, to better prepare the region and take advantage of economic opportunities, like green hydrogen.

Discussions at the Energy Futures Summit at Central Queensland University Gladstone on April 22, 2021. Picture: contributed
Discussions at the Energy Futures Summit at Central Queensland University Gladstone on April 22, 2021. Picture: contributed

Questions facing the region were workshopped by energy providers, unions, educators, environment groups and Traditional Owners.

Host, The Next Economy’s CEO, Dr Amanda Cahill said there was strong consensus that if the region was going to be able to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, there needed to be much great co-ordination to manage changes across the energy sector.

“Attendees agreed that it’s time for regional leadership on this issue, not only to manage the impacts that communities are already seeing from changes in the energy sector, but to be able to attract the new investment into the region,” Dr Cahill said.

“Councils will play a critical role in this, but this process needs to be backed by State and Federal Government support.”

Australian Conservation Foundation’s Climate and Energy Program Manager, Gavan McFadzean said it was fantastic to see so many stakeholders engaging on the issues.

“The highlight for me was bringing such a broad range of stakeholders in what was an unprecedented way here in Australia, and looking at what the future will look like for Central Queensland in a low-carbon world,” Mr McFadzean said.

Discussions at the Energy Futures Summit at Central Queensland University Gladstone on April 22, 2021. Picture: contributed
Discussions at the Energy Futures Summit at Central Queensland University Gladstone on April 22, 2021. Picture: contributed

“There have been a number of stakeholders get ahead of the curve and take control of the future.”

Gladstone Mayor, Matt Burnett said it was exciting to talk about the future economy for Central Queensland.

“We have a world-class port right here in Gladstone where we can export energy to the world, but we can also deliver a future economy for Central Queensland right here, and that was what this summit was all about,” Cr Burnett said.

Recommendations from the summit will be presented to state and federal governments.

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