$145m to fund state's renewable energy corridors
The State Government has pledged to spend $145 million to unlock three new renewable energy corridors across north, central and south-west Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the promise at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia's (CEDA) State of the State event on Thursday.
"We will map out areas within Queensland for investment in renewables - solar and wind - by supporting the delivery of transmission infrastructure," she said.
The Premier said there was potential for up to five renewable energy zones from Cairns down to Townsville and west to Barcaldine.
"The North Queensland corridor has significant potential for demand from new economy minerals including CopperString 2.0, minerals processing, manufacturing and hydrogen," she said.
"Achieving internationally competitive energy prices in the North West Minerals Province would mean 3500 more jobs in North Queensland - delivering the minerals needed globally for batteries, renewables and electronics."
Across central Queensland, the Premier said there was potential for projects in the Fitzroy and Wide Bay.
"These would make our aluminium and smelting industries more competitive with strong potential for hydrogen development," she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said a "renewable energy zone" in the South West, Darling Downs area would allows clean energy to be integrated into the grid efficiently and at a lower cost.
She said the zone would meet demand from agricultural production and could potentially help supply New South Wales.
"These renewable energy zones will support Powerlink to invest further funding and CleanCo to increase their publicly owned renewable generation capacity to deliver energy security.
"I don't want to just deliver renewable energy zones - I want to deliver industrial zones and hydrogen hubs - because that means more secure full-time manufacturing jobs."
The renewable energy promise was made alongside a raft of other announcements, including a pledge for $5 million for a feasibility study into a gas pipeline from the Bowen Basin, and an additional $46.5 million for mental health community treatment and support services.
On mental health, Ms Palaszczuk said the coronavirus pandemic was taking a toll on all of us.
"This global pandemic isn't just claiming lives directly from the virus - it is taking a massive toll on Queenslander's mental health," she said.
"It is placing an enormous strain on many families.
"We are seeing our elderly become more and more isolated and more and more vulnerable."
Originally published as $145m to fund Qld renewable energy corridors