Just months ago large-scale clean energy projects were going gangbusters right across Queensland – bringing jobs and billions worth of investment to the regions.
At the height of the latest construction boom, close to 3,000 Queenslanders were employed building new projects, plus many more jobs were created indirectly and through the supply chain. Whether it's the local pub in Collinsville or cafes in remote Hughenden, small businesses all over regional Queensland benefit from renewable projects coming to their area and the buzz of construction activity.
But the brakes have been slammed on Queensland’s thriving renewable energy industry. Thousands of jobs are at stake because members of the Federal Government are refusing to work with the industry to implement a national energy policy that will keep the projects coming.
Up until the middle of 2019, the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) provided certainty for the renewable energy industry and encouraged investment in Queensland. But now that the RET has come to an end, there is no energy policy in place to keep driving investment confidence and this has resulted in less than 20MW of renewable generation reaching financial close in 2019, compared with 1419MW in 2017.
Source: Green Energy Markets.
This means that without new policy intervention, the 3,000 construction jobs and associated economic activity across regional Queensland will disappear completely by April 2020. This is bad news for Queensland's economy. The renewable sector is currently the largest contributor to construction growth in Australia, and without it, experts warn Australia's economy would be going backwards.
But it’s not too late to turn this around. Queensland’s world-class renewable energy assets are catching the attention of investors from all corners of the globe, and with the right policy settings, this could unlock more clean energy projects, and new homegrown manufacturing and export opportunities. In fact, if all the large-scale clean energy projects in Queensland’s planning and construction pipeline go ahead it will mean 34,000 construction jobs and 1,500 ongoing jobs for our state.
That’s why it’s time for the Queensland Government to step up and take matters into their own hands. Despite the fact that construction activity will soon come to a standstill, Queensland has a massive potential pipeline of 15,000MW projects that already have planning approvals or are currently seeking approval.
With the right policy incentives, we can get the large-scale renewable energy industry back on track – creating new construction, electrical and manufacturing jobs in regional Queensland, lowering power prices and helping clean up our energy supply. Queenslanders want to upgrade our failing energy system by making the most of our renewable energy resources: now let's get on with it!
So what are we waiting for? Sign the petition to remove the roadblocks stalling Queensland’s renewable energy future.