Large-scale projects are generating new energy, new jobs and new investment in regional Queensland, with the Western Downs Regional Council hosting 10 proposed projects.
The 10 solar farms and Cooper’s Gap wind farm combined would support 3120 construction jobs, $5.5 billion in investment and 2.41 gigawatts of installed electricity generation.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government was determined to achieve a 50% share of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030, and the pipeline of projects – under construction, planned and proposed – valued at more than $20 billion with the promise of 15,000 construction jobs.
“The impact on the Western Downs is very significant,” the Premier said.
“The region’s unemployment rate is 4.8% – 1% below the state average.
“There is new investment and renewed optimism on the Western Downs.”
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the visit was a chance to show the region was leading the way in jobs creation through its innovative pioneering of renewable energy.
“We are immensely proud of what the Western Downs is contributing to the Queensland and Australian economies, and having the Premier out here in the Energy Capital of Queensland is an opportunity for her to see this first hand,” he said.
“This region is not only placed to support the billions of dollars’ worth of development being attracted, we also have the skilled workforce to fill the thousands of real regional jobs being generated.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said renewables were a key plant of Government’s Powering Queensland’s Future Plan, and during last year’s State election it committed to $151.6 million in new investment for renewable energy generation including:
• $97 million for solar schools
• $50 million down payment for a new solar thermal power plant
• $1 million study for renewable solutions for the Daintree
• $3.6 million to help decarbonise remote communities
The Government also committed to establish a new publically owned CleanCo with a mandate to deliver 1000MW of renewable energy with a focus on flexible dispatchable generation.