Candidates discuss Capricornia's move towards renewables
WITH 23 days remaining in the 2019 federal election campaign, Capricornia's candidates have shared their answers to The Morning Bulletin's latest question: In what ways can this region begin moving towards renewable energy?
The Greens - Paul Bambrick
"The Greens will transition to 100% public and community-owned renewable energy, creating thousands of good, steady jobs, and delivering cheap, reliable energy," Mr Bambrick said.
"We have a real plan to move workers on to new jobs, instead of leaving them stranded in coal and facing an uncertain future.
"We will provide free education and re-skilling to all workers, ensuring no Queenslander is left behind in this transition.
"There are currently many renewable projects underway in the region. We risk losing a bright future for CQ if we don't build the economy we need.
"At the same time we can't let private companies dominate these new industries. Privatisation is not in the public's interest, even when it comes to renewable energy."
Katter's Australian Party - George Birkbeck
"Solar and wind still need development. Presently the up-front costs are too expensive and they do not produce a constant source of power," Mr Birkbeck said.
"Importing millions of solar panels mass produced in Chinese factories does nothing for future opportunities for Australian employment in the energy sector.
"Hydroelectricity will be a major benefit of the Bradfield Scheme and Fitzroy Gap Dam. Ethanol must be mandated at 10% in all fuel products not just unleaded petrol.
"Hydrogen, as the most abundant element on earth, has significant potential."
Labour DLP - Richard Temple
"The Mackay region needs a federal representative that is committed to finding solutions at aiming to reduce electricity prices. Removing our coal industry is not the solution," Mr Temple said.
"Coal is still an economic source of income that our community relies on to keep our local economy sustainable.
"The Democratic Labour Party's Primary Industry policy believes in ensuring the long-term survival and viability of each industry for the benefit of Queensland and Australia."
Independent - Ken Murray
Mr Murray said there was a place for all types of sensible renewable energy, such as solar, tidal, wind and hydro but he wouldn't support nuclear power given the associated disasters.
"In Capricornia, towns like Clermont, statistically have more sunny days than any other town in Australia," he said.
"We already have the biggest solar panel plant installation and we have loads more space for more solar facilities."
He said alternative methods of power, didn't have the grunt to drive aluminium smelters and heavy industry so we need clean burning high-tech coal-fired power stations, to keep electricity costs down and maintain our standard of living.
LNP - Michelle Landry
"Central Queensland is moving toward renewable energy and with over 300 days of sunshine one can understand why," Ms Landry said.
"A range of projects are underway, including Adani's Rugby Run solar farm and similar developments at Collinsville, as well as the wind farm development at Clarke Creek.
"These projects, just like any infrastructure project, deliver much-needed jobs to the area and while we maintain a solid supply of baseload power, can help to deliver extra energy supply to the market, dropping prices.
"It is vital though, that we do maintain that solid baseload and coal-fired thermal power stations are the best way to deliver that for many years to come."
ALP - Russell Robertson
"Renewable and traditional power sources can exist side by side; they are not mutually exclusive, despite the lies from the LNP," Mr Robertson said.
"In Capricornia our natural environment makes us an ideal location for a mix of solar and wind generation to help drive electricity prices down and create more local jobs.
"We will deliver 50 per cent of power from renewables by 2030, end the privatisation mess and better regulate power prices. Importantly, it will also deliver more local jobs for Central Queenslanders."
One Nation - Wade Rothery
"Capricornia already has a strong renewable energy presence in Collinsville where over 2000 acres of solar panels are already installed," Mr Rothery said.
"Further wind and solar investments are also planned for Marlborough. One Nation are not against renewables, but we are realistic about the need for base load power that drives industry and manufacturing, while powering our households when the sun goes down at night.
"As our nations thirst for electronic gadgets, cars and air-conditioned comfort grows, so too does our need for power. Affordable coal-fired power must remain a part of our nation's electricity mix to avoid economic meltdown and a slide in the standard of living."
United Australia Party - Lindsay Sturgeon
"Australia United Party is still developing policy surrounding renewables," Mr Sturgeon said.
"While we acknowledge renewables are the future for power generation until scalable grid storage is developed we need to continue to support affordable base load generation."
What are Capricornia’s big issues for the 2019 federal election?
This poll ended on 17 May 2019.
Establishing a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption
Reducing cost of living pressures
Cheaper regional airfares
Addressing climate change
Homelessness / emergency housing
Fairness for workers/ industrial relations
Building a coal-fired power station
Support for small business
Abolishing franking credits
Addressing wage stagnation
Lowering power prices
Addressing high fuel costs
Adani's Carmichael coal mine
Building Yeppoon convention centre
Upgrading GKI infrastructure
Boosting beef industry
Protecting the environment
Boosting beef industry
Vegetation management laws
Abolishing negative gearing
Flood mitigation including Rockhampton airport levee
Upgrading CQ’s roads
Supporting the mining industry
Boost electric car uptake/ charging infrastructure
Rockhampton international airport upgrade
Building a Rockhampton sports stadium
Establishing a permanent military base
Better telecommunications/NBN for regional areas
Water infrastructure – Gap dam, Bradfield scheme
More funding for education and training
Immigration / foreign worker visas
Improving health system
Tackling drug abuse
Improving aged care system
Open and honest government
Disability support / NDIS
Housing – first home buyer/ affordable
Economy – boosting growth
Rolling out more renewable energy generation
Cracking down on tax avoidance by multinational companies
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.