Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese with Boyne Smelter Limited's Shona Markham.
Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese with Boyne Smelter Limited's Shona Markham.

Opposition leader's thoughts on renewables for Gladstone

RENEWABLE energy were the words on everyone's lips when Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese visited Boyne Smelters today.

Mr Albanese was joined by Opposition spokesman for regional services Jason Clare, Opposition spokesman for Northern Australia Murray Watt and Senator Anthony Chisholm on a visit to Gladstone during their tour of Queensland.

 

Labor Shadow Minister for Regional Services Jason Clare with Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese at the Boyne Smelters on December 12 discussing energy policy.
Labor Shadow Minister for Regional Services Jason Clare with Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese at the Boyne Smelters on December 12 discussing energy policy.

 

Mr Albanese spruiked the smelters' vision in the renewables sector.

"What they're looking at is renewable energy - particularly solar - backed up with coal-fire generation that is currently here in Gladstone," Mr Albanese said.

"It's also looking at the potential that hydrogen could play in terms of not just here but the other sites around alumina production.

"It's looking at whether batteries can play a roll as they are in South Australia."

Mr Albanese said up to 12,000 jobs were created indirectly because of the smelter.

He criticised the Liberal National Party for its lack of energy policy.

 

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese at the Boyne Smelters on December 12 discussing energy policy with a BSL employee.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese at the Boyne Smelters on December 12 discussing energy policy with a BSL employee.

 

 

"We haven't had one since 2014," Mr Albanese said.

"What we've had is a series of thought bubbles, 16 or 17 different proposals, none of them being implemented."

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said BSL would not be able to run on renewable power alone.

"There is no evidence that renewables will help reduce the price of electricity and Queensland has more renewables than any other state," Mr O'Dowd said.

Mr O'Dowd said the Queensland Government was the reason for the high prices.

"The Queensland Government owns seven out of the eight coal-fired power houses in the state as well as Stanwell, Ergon and Energex," he said.

 

Boyne Smelter Limited employee Nathan Harrower with Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese.
Boyne Smelter Limited employee Nathan Harrower with Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

 

A Rio Tinto spokesman said the company was considering all options to make smelters in its Pacific Aluminium business sustainable, looking at solutions to ensure reliable and affordable supplies of energy, as well as reducing emissions.

"As stated earlier this year in Rio Tinto's Our Approach to Climate Change Report, we are assessing potential decarbonisation pathways across most of our sites," they said.

"While we continue to explore a range of options at many sites around the world, we don't have anything to announce at this time."