Nuclear Power Statement

Colin Boyce MP

Today, Peter Dutton and the Coalition announced seven locations for proposed nuclear power plants at retiring or retired coal sites.

The Callide Power station site near Biloela in my electorate of Flynn has been identified as one of these sites.

Without transitioning to nuclear, the Callide Power Station is set to close in the future and some 250 jobs will leave that economy, that means less children at the school. It means less groceries are sold at the store. It means less rate base for the local government authority.

The Callide Power Station site offers important technical attributes needed for a zero-emissions nuclear plant, including cooling water capacity and transmission infrastructure, that is, we can use the existing poles and wires, along with a local community which has a skilled and experienced workforce.

A key advantage of modern zero-emissions nuclear plants is that they can be plugged into existing grids. This means they can effectively replace retired or retiring coal plants and avoid much of the new spending needed for Labor's 'renewables-only' system, including new transmission poles and wires. All of which will be passed on in the form of higher bills.

I have welcomed the Coalition's announcement and what it will mean for the greater Biloela community. The Coalition supports nuclear as part of the energy mix as we move toward delivering cheaper energy that does not compromise agricultural land, and the environment.

This will provide jobs and opportunities to the Biloela community while also providing 24/7 reliable baseload power for Central Queensland.

Central Queensland has a proud heritage as an energy-producing region and there is a high level of 'energy literacy' in the community. I am proud of the local workers who have kept the lights on for many years. Cheap energy has been a competitive advantage for our nation. It has meant we have had a thriving manufacturing sector like the alumina industry in Gladstone.

Labor's approach requires imposing 58 million solar panels, 3,500 new industrial wind turbines, and up to 28,000 kilometres of new transmission lines across the country. Energy experts have warned the cost of Labor's rollout will be between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion. Labor will also require 34 times the current amount of utility-scale variable renewable energy in the national electricity market to meet its hydrogen export ambitions.

This reckless rollout of renewables is having an enormous effect on the livelihood of local communities and the environment especially in the Biloela region.

No country in the world relies solely on solar and wind as Labor is proposing. By contrast, there are 32 countries operating zero-emissions nuclear plants. Another 50 countries are looking to do so.

Of the world's 20 largest economies, Australia is the only one not using nuclear energy, or moving towards using it.

Today's announcement by the Coalition is a crucial step in getting Australia back on track.

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