Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher during a media conference at Southern Oil's Yarwun refinery on October 14, 2020. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher during a media conference at Southern Oil's Yarwun refinery on October 14, 2020. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Premier’s $2m pledge during Gladstone visit

GLADSTONE State High School would get $2 million toward a hydrogen skills project in an election promise the Premier touted would deliver 7600 jobs and $11 billion for Australia “when Hydrogen becomes a reality”.

Despite repeated questions, Ms Palaszczuk could not say when the jobs, or how much of the claimed $11 billion, would be delivered locally or to Queensland.

Ms Palaszczuk threw the responsibility for the figures for the “emerging” hydrogen industry back at the Federal Coalition Government.

“That is what has been talked about federally,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“For when hydrogen becomes a reality.

“Personally, as Premier and Minister for trade, I have actually spoken directly with representatives in Japan and South Korea and their keenness to make sure they help foster a hydrogen industry, clean hydrogen, here in Queensland to be exported overseas.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher during a media conference at Southern Oil's Yarwun refinery today. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher during a media conference at Southern Oil's Yarwun refinery today. Picture: Rodney Stevens

The Premier joined Treasurer Cameron Dick and Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher when making the announcement this morning at Southern Oil’s Yarwun refinery.

The Local Schools Local Jobs package would see Labor spend, if re-elected, $45 million on 26 schools across Queensland, focusing on the regions.

The would be used “to complement local emerging growth industries” including hydrogen, agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, defence maintenance and manufacturing, aviation and aerospace.

“It’s great to be back at Northern Oil, (Southern Oil’s Yarwun refinery) I think it’s about the fourth time I have been here,” she said.

“I believe that hydrogen is a game changer for our state.

“We are on the cusp of the next LNG industry, and we know that the LNG industry boomed out of Gladstone.

“There is a huge opportunity for hydrogen here in Gladstone, in Townsville and other parts of the state.

“And if we’re going to capitalise on this we need to make sure we have the skills that are needed for the future.”

“Hydrogen has the potential to support 7600 jobs across Queensland and it would bring in $11 billion.”

When questioned again about the jobs, the premier backflipped.

“It’s not just Queensland its Australia,” she said.

“Australia has a road map and Queensland has a road map.

“So we are very keen to secure a large proportion of those jobs here in Queensland.”

The Premier said the Local Schools Local Jobs announcement was targeted at upgrading existing facilities and building new industry linked training infrastructure.

“We know that we have strong regional communities and we want to see those communities grow into the future,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This is a gateway to industry, this is a pathway for students to get the skills they need in the industries that are relevant in their regions.

“It means jobs for our young people, it means jobs for Queenslanders and it means jobs for regional Queensland.

“Here in Gladstone we will partner with the Gladstone State High School and they will be given funding so they can set up facilities so that they can get the training in hydrogen.

“So they can be ready for when hydrogen becomes a reality.

“Central Queensland benefits from this with Gladstone State High School getting $2 million, the Mackay Northern Beaches in the north getting $1.2 million and Rockhampton State High School $2.5 million for Aquaculture research.”

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett sticks close to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a tour by the official party of part of Southern Oil's Yarwun Oil Recycling plant today. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett sticks close to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a tour by the official party of part of Southern Oil's Yarwun Oil Recycling plant today. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Treasurer Cameron Dick described hydrogen as a “Sunrise Industry” - an industry that was going to make a difference in “the future”.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said this announcement of $2 million for Gladstone State High School “speaks volumes about what our Premier and this government stands for when it comes to training and skills of our young people.”

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett told the media he would be very brief, as “I think we’ve got all the grabs we need for the news tonight.”

“Isn’t it fantastic to be here in Gladstone again with the Premier, with the Treasurer, with the Minister, announcing funds for Central Queensland,” he said.

The government State Development, Tourism and Innovation website states the $4.2 million Hydrogen Park Gladstone project is “in progress”.

“It is anticipated that plant construction will commence in November 2020 with commissioning by October 2021 and the plant becoming fully operational in December 2021,” the website states.

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