'Madness and mayhem': PM pulls plug on coal-fired power plant
A COAL-fired power station in Gladstone still has the backing of deputy mayor, Chris Trevor despite the Prime Minister throwing cold water over the proposal this week.
PM Malcolm Turnbull told ABC's 7.30 program on Monday the Federal Government had "no plans to build a coal-fired power station," halting any lingering hope for a new plant in central Queensland.
His comments follow Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison's recent denouncement of Queensland LNP's plan to ease power prices, saying "new cheap coal is a bit of a myth."
But the revelation has not stopped Cr Trevor who says the arrival of a new coal-fired power station would bring cheap, affordable base load power and local jobs.
"In all this madness and mayhem to be the most renewable party, who is actually standing up for the people who can least afford renewables the most?," he said.
"I will continue to personally advocate for a new clean coal-fired power station for Gladstone. ," he said.
The councillor said he believed the further the government moved away from a new Central Queensland coal-fired power station, the more our leaders would drift from supporting the interests of Australians.
"The renters, the pensioners, the people on fixed incomes and the low income earners for example, who can't afford to put solar panels on their roof ... the very people governments have a duty to protect."
Queensland Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister, Curtis Pitt said the Queensland LNP's plan to address power costs "was a slug to taxpayers of at least $2.5 billion for the new plant."
He said Mr Turnbull's comments demonstrated the need to focus on renewable energy, which he said the State Government was doing.
The Queensland LNP is has been pursuing its plan for a new plant in the aim to lower soaring energy prices.
"Like all of the LNP's ideas this is just an un-costed and unfunded thought bubble masquerading as a plan," Mr Pitt said.
"His (Malcolm Turnbull's) comments kill off the LNP's proposal ... industry, investors, and independent energy experts do not support any new coal-fired plant and now the Federal Government will not back it," he added.
Cr Trevor disagreed with the sole focus on renewable energy, agreeing it was the future but he said it should be rolled out at a slower pace, allowing enough time to adapt.
"When the rest of the world is building hundreds of these new reliable cheap energy clean coal-fired power stations, we have this ideological obsession with renewable targets," he said.
Earlier this month, the State Government announced it would introduce a private retailer to the state's energy market.
Cr Trevor called out the amendment, claiming the "ploy" demonstrated political favouritism toward the south-east corner of the state, who would again reap the benefits of the change due to the "political power base" their geographic location provided.
"Central Queenslanders are being "gouged on a regular, continuous and monotonous basis," he said.
"Renewable energy is good energy ... It's our way forward ... but it is expensive and hurts the disadvantaged most ... the people who can't afford it.
"We need to slow down this idiosyncratic drive and push, this rush, and extend the timeline to ensure a smooth transition"
He implored the Government to protect the vulnerable instead of the "mad rush towards renewable energy."
"We can do better. As a society we must."