Tuesday, 11 February 2020
That the Senate—
(a) notes that building new high-efficiency low-emission coal fired power stations will create jobs, lower power prices, increase competition and increase reliability in the energy system; and
(b) supports projects, like the Collinsville clean coal-fired power project, which will provide stable reliable baseload power and help lower power prices.
The government is supporting new electricity generation projects in North and Central Queensland which will drive down power prices, improve reliability and support a stronger economy. Our approach to energy technology is neutral, drawing on coal, gas and renewable energy sources. At the last election we committed $10 million to address supply and affordability issues for energy-intensive and trade-exposed customers in North and Central Queensland. Industries like aluminium smelting and refining, and cement, sugar and copper processing all rely on low-cost, reliable energy and employ tens of thousands of Queenslanders. Part of our plan includes a commitment to a number of feasibility studies for new generation projects. Those projects will need to stack up and make commercial sense to get private sector investment and necessary state government approvals. We won't stand in the way of a private company that wants to build a new power station if it has all of the relevant approvals.
The Collinsville coal-fired power project is one that will never happen. The Prime Minister knows it, the Liberals know it and Australia knows it. No coal-fired power stations have been built in Australia since 2009. This one won't be built either. As former Prime Minister Turnbull said yesterday, those people who are advocating that the government should fund coal-fired power are basically making the case for higher emissions and higher energy prices. Labor supports a stable energy policy that delivers lower power prices, lower emissions and more jobs, not imaginary projects that will never happen. As such, Labor won't be supporting this motion.