The Transport and Resources Committee inquiry into the Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Bill 2023 held a Public Hearing in Rockhampton today.
The Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Bill 2023 includes radical changes that will affect Queensland’s energy supply and regional communities’ livelihoods across the state.
CQ LNP Members, Colin Boyce, Michelle Landry, and Senator Matthew Canavan said it is imperative to assess the potential consequences of the rushed transition from affordable and reliable energy sources, such as coal and gas, to intermittent and not-so-renewable sources like solar and wind.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce who was a witness for the Public Hearing said that there are 51 renewable projects that he knows of that are currently planned or in progress in the Flynn electorate that are creating significant issues for the region.
“Central Queensland’s lack of infrastructure cannot facilitate cost effective and efficient building and maintenance of new renewable energy projects,” Mr Boyce said.
“Bridges leading to the Port of Gladstone and near the Stanwell Power Station have weight and load restrictions in place, yet the Queensland Labor Government has not made any tangible steps in having them upgraded.
“The Queensland Labor Government has also not sufficiently assessed what their rush to renewables means for regional communities that rely on traditional industries.”
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry said regional Queenslanders are facing the fight of their lives against the relentless march of Labor’s extreme net-zero targets and the companies who are willing to scourge prime agricultural land and thousands of hectares of native bushland.
“During a recent drive along the old Bruce Highway to meet with community members in Clarke Creek, I was appalled by the deplorable condition of the road. Children at the local school were asking when they would be fixed because their parents were worried about accidents caused from the enormous potholes from the heavy and wide loads delivering the hundreds of blades to wind farms in the region,” Ms Landry said.
“It is somewhat hypocritical of the Labor and Greens to demonise the resources sector, particularly the coal mining industry, for the damage they believe it inflicts on the environment. Yet, wind farms are popping up all over the untouched bushland.”
Senator Matthew Canavan said the State Labor Government’s rush to renewables is causing significant concern and hardship on farmers in Central Queensland and there’s been little to no assessment on what the impacts will be on our natural environments and to our farming communities.
“Central Queensland is funding the state budget and we’re being rewarded for it by having our beautiful landscapes littered with wind towers and little to no consultations with the communities that’ll be impacted,” Senator Canavan said.
“Labor need to put on the brakes and focus on making sure Queenslanders have reliable power rather than looking out for mostly foreign renewables companies.”
Kalapa Grazier, Glen Kelly said the influx of renewable projects in his community is causing great concern due to the planned environmental destruction of remnant vegetation in the surrounding mountain ridges and the subsequent impact on wildlife.
“These projects are looking to use groundwater and the supply just isn’t there. We’re extremely worried about the loss of water for our stock. The increased bushfire risk and inability to use aircraft to defend property is deeply concerning,” Mr Kelly said.
“Proposed renewable projects are going to have a massive impact on the value of smaller lifestyle blocks of land. Who would want to live under a 275-metre wind turbine sitting on top of a 400-metre-high mountain ridge?
“These projects need to be forced to use land that has already been created and is at least 1.5km from neighbouring boundaries, not homes as is currently the case.”