The Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, joined Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, on a visit to Boyne Island Smelter and Cement Australia last week. While in town they met with local industry representatives to discuss the Liberal National Government’s plan to drive down energy prices. 

Reliable energy at an affordable price is vital to the future of the many jobs that energy-intensive industries in Gladstone rely on. 

Minister Taylor said the Government is examining projects in North and Central Queensland through the Underwriting New Generation Investments program to ensure affordable, 24/7 reliable energy. 

“Businesses are struggling under the weight of power prices in Central and North Queensland”, Minister Taylor said. “The Federal Government is taking strong action through our Underwriting New Generation Investments program to address supply and affordability issues, especially for energy-intensive and trade-exposed customers in the region. We are focused on short and long-term customer energy requirements and future generation opportunities to meet customer needs. 

The Federal Government announced in the Budget $10 million over two years to develop a detailed plan and identify viable locations for further energy generation including coal, gas, pumped hydro, and biomass opportunitiesThese projects include but are not limited to a new HELE coal project in Collinsville, upgrades of existing generators as well as gas and hydro projects. As an objective of the Underwriting New Generations Investment program, the Government will be targeting a 25 per cent reduction in wholesale prices by the end of 2021. 

Minister Taylor criticised the Queensland Palaszczuk Labor Government commenting that energy prices could be lowered for Queenslanders tomorrow, instead of continuing to take from the pockets of hardworking Queenslanders to prop up their state budget. 

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said Minister Taylor’s visit was important to help the Minister understand energy generation and supply issues impacting some of the region’s major employersincluding sites like Boyne Island Smelter. 

“The Coalition values the contribution of workers at sites such as Boyne Smelters – these are the people who continue to drive Queensland’s exports and economy because of the reliable and affordable power provided by our coal-fired power stations.” 

“It is great to have Minister Taylor in Gladstone to hear first-hand from our cane growers, aluminium industry and other stakeholders the impact power prices are having on their sector”, Mr O’Dowd said. 

Customers, big and small, are at the centre of the Liberal National Government’s Fair Deal on Energy policy. We are committed to keeping prices down while we keep the lights on,” Mr O’Dowd added.