A budget for renewable energy transformation, but not national parks.

For Immediate Release

The Queensland Conservation Council has today welcomed the Palaszczuk government’s investment in renewable energy and land restoration. 

“Today’s budget delivers a dramatic and much needed fund to transform Queensland’s energy sector while delivering key but incomplete investments in nature.” said QCC’s Director Dave Copeman.

On Renewables:

“We welcomed the $2bn Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund announced last Thursday as a great step towards making more cheap, clean renewable energy generation possible.”

“This public investment will make the grid more reliable, reduce vulnerability to blackouts, such as the one caused by the Callide C4 explosion last month and reduce our reliance on unprofitable dirty coal generators.

Renewable energy has pushed down demand and wholesale prices. Our analysis, released today, shows that Queensland’s government owned generators, CS Energy and Stanwell will not be profitable after 2023-24.

The Queensland Government had refused to acknowledge this energy transition last year in the 2020-21 budget, instead forecasting over $2bn profit across 4 years for the government owned generators, including CleanCo.

We remain concerned that the 2021-22 forecasts are still too optimistic, but are relieved the Queensland Government has halved their forecast of profits for government owned generators and admitted that they will not return dividends after 2022-23.

The combined budget forecast also hides the dire situation of CS Energy. Even before the Callide C4 incident, it’s our assessment that CS Energy would not have made a profit after this year.

“It’s clear coal power no longer stacks up. We need the Government to release their plan for the electricity grid of the future. A key decision that would save taxpayers money would be replacing Callide C4 with renewables and storage, instead of rebuilding.”

On Nature:

This budget has shown that Queenslander have once again fallen in love with our national parks, with 50% more overnight stays in national parks and forests, in spite of Covid shutdowns and state border closures.

“Last year there were just over 1 million overnight campers in our national parks, the latest figures released with this budget reveal this has jumped to 1.6 million.”

“We are disappointed the Palaszczuk government has not seized on this opportunity to invest in creating new national parks at a time when they have become central to Queensland’s economic recovery.”

“Despite a previous commitment to invest $5.02 million for new national parks this budget, it has been cut back to just over $4m, which is not enough to buy priority areas.”

“The Cape York Tenure Resolution process has also been left with inadequate funding, leaving the program without the capacity to acquire land for the first time in its 14 year history”

On the positive side, the Government has continued to invest in protecting our reef and funding landholders to sequester carbon.

“Of the $330 million announced last week we welcome significant new investment in improving water quality in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef and $60m in new funding for the second round of projects under the Land Restoration Fund.

The Land Restoration Fund has also received its own dedicated investment fund, the $500m Carbon Reduction Investment Fund, whose returns will fund future Land Restoration Fund disbursements.

Contact: Dave Copeman

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 0408 841 595