Attention Political and General Reporters
7 Sept 2020
ETU welcomes Palaszczuk Government’s $500 million Renewable Energy Fund
But warns there is more to do to ensure a sustainable future
The Electrical Trades Union has welcomed the state government’s announcement of $500 million in new funding to set up a Renewable Energy Fund but said there was still more to do to secure jobs and assets.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the investment will put money on the table meaning the state-owned energy corporations can increase public ownership of commercial renewable projects and supporting infrastructure, the ETU agrees but State Secretary Peter Ong said the union would have preferred the money go directly to the state owned CleanCo.
“While we have argued that any new funding should go directly into CleanCo which would have provided investment certainty for the next three year, this is a good first step. But they also need to show the workforce and communities of our current generators that they are investing in the future of their workforce and the surrounding communities by investing in renewable projects for them to transition into.” Mr Ong said.
Mr Ong once again called on the government to reverse the mandates for CS and Stanwell the two state owned electricity generators to allow profits to be re-invested rather than returning to treasury’s consolidated funds.
“In these ever-changing times we will continue to lobby the Government to reinvest profits made by CS and Stanwell back into those companies with strict conditions the funds are used to construct renewable energy generation assets. This would have two significant positive impacts, a surge in public owned renewable generation assets and a clearer path to a just transition for workers currently employed in the coal fired generation sector.”
Mr Ong said the recent announcements made by the state government which included the latest funding announcements and the Renewable Energy Zones announced last month showed they were serious about creating and investing in a renewable energy future he urged the government to “make sure that future is publicly owned and fit for purpose.”