Coal power is set to expand in the north-west after a $500m expansion at the Queensland power station saw it triple capacity to 5,400MW.
But it’s not without its detractors, including environmental groups and the Northern Territory Government, who are demanding tougher laws and controls be put in place to protect the environment.
The Queensland government announced it would invest $300m to build the first new coal-based power plant for the state since the 1980s.
“We’re very excited to see the first coal power plant built in Queensland in decades,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“It’s going to provide a boost to our economy and it will be good for our environment.”‘
It’s not a carbon tax’The Queensland Government says the expansion will allow the plant to operate with a lower carbon intensity than existing plants, while maintaining its climate and air quality commitments.
“The Queensland Power Station is a very successful project that has been successful over the last 20 years and we’re very pleased that it is coming to a close,” Queensland Environment Minister Rob Stokes said.
But the opposition has called for the project to be scrapped, claiming it would “only exacerbate” climate change.
The federal Government says it wants to ensure coal is not used to power “dirty energy” plants, such as the controversial TransMountain mine in Victoria.
“This plant has already produced more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and has produced enough clean electricity to power almost one million homes,” Mr Stokes told ABC Radio.
“So this is not a cost-benefit analysis.
This is just a carbon reduction project.”
Mr Stokes says the Queensland Government will be paying for the expansion by charging carbon fees.
“If we want to see this continued and continue to be successful, we need to take these costs into account,” he said.
The expansion of the Queensland Power station, which was originally set to run until 2025, is a win for environmentalists, but the Opposition says it will only exacerbate climate change and will hurt the environment at a time when Queensland is facing severe drought.
The Opposition has also called for a ban on new coal mines, which the Government says would help reduce emissions and boost the economy.
“As the Premier of Queensland, we have a responsibility to protect our environment, and we will not support this expansion of a coal mine,” Ms Palaszek said.
Topics:coal,environment,coal-fired-power-plant,mining-industry,mining,energy,environmental-impact,environment-management,york-state-6010,australiaFirst posted May 25, 2019 12:54:46Contact Chris WoodcockMore stories from Queensland