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Energy Minister Visits Boyne Island Smelter

The Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, has joined Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, on a visit to Boyne Island Smelter, and also discussed with local industry in Gladstone 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”, said
Minister Taylor.

“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 Palaszczuk Labor Government could lower prices for Queenslanders tomorrow. Instead they continue to take from the pockets of hardworking Queenslanders to prop up their state budget.”

The Federal Government announced in the Budget $10 million over two years to develop a detailed plan and identify viable locations for firm generation including coal, gas, pumped hydro, and biomass opportunities, including Collinsville and Gladstone.

These 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.

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said Minister Taylor’s visit was important to understand energy generation and supply issues impacting some of the big employers in the region, including 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 canegrowers, 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.