Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Coal-Fired Power Stations
The coalition government is a strong advocate for Australia's abundant natural resources and critical mineral sectors, and the regional communities and jobs they support. That's why we established the Underwriting New Generation Investments program, to increase firm generation capacity with new coal, gas and hydro projects, and funded a feasibility study into a high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power station in Collinsville. Our policy is to support a new gas-fired generator in the Hunter Valley, because it will provide the flexible generation we need now to secure our electricity grid. A new gas generator can be approved by the state government and be operational more quickly, creating jobs and putting downward pressure on prices as soon as possible. We agree with the ACCC recommendation that the federal government underwrite new energy generation projects that will help to deliver affordable, reliable power for Australian consumers.
The Hunter Valley needs a new coal-fired power station like it needs a hole in the head. I have spent a lot of time in the Hunter Valley, and the people there know that coal has no future. They know how damaging coal is for the climate. They know how harmful coaldust is for them, their families and their children. They know that there is no future in coal, that it is a collapsing industry. The irrational exuberance of Pauline Hanson's One Nation and the coalition to keep pushing coal is criminal. People in the Hunter actually want a plan to build a clean, healthy, sustainable, jobs-rich future for their communities. They know that dirty coal and gas are not going to give them that future. We have an opportunity to remake society so that no-one is left behind and to transition away from coal. The Hunter needs to be free of giant fossil-fuel corporations and their interests. They don't have to be, and they shouldn't be, burdened by another coal-fired power station. (Time expired)