Union calls for public ownership guarantee for renewable energy future

Attention Political and General Reporters

21 August 2020

Union calls for public ownership guarantee for renewable energy future

“Without the guarantee, $145m Renewable Energy Zones will just lay the foundation for privatisation”

In response to the Queensland State Government’s announcement of $145 m for three new Renewable Energy Zones, The Electrical Trades Union has called on the Government to guarantee future renewable energy generation projects are built, owned, and operated by the State Government.

ETU QLD NT State Secretary Peter Ong said, “it is all very well announcing money for Renewable Energy Zones via a media release, but if it is not backed up by further investment and a public ownership guarantee it would be nothing more than privatisation of our energy generation by stealth, where public money props up often overseas owned private companies.

“As a union that has fought tooth and nail to keep our public electricity assets in public hands, we will not sit back and see our state’s electricity generation network privatised by stealth.”

“We see the State Government sending out PR spin about how proud it is to own our electricity assets, well here is a fantastic opportunity for it to actually do something tangible for future generations. Commit to build, own, and operate our renewable energy future.”

Mr Ong said as the State recovers from the COVID -19 pandemic the time was right for Government infrastructure spending and said things could not go back to business as usual.

“As a State, under successive Governments, we have been following a neo-liberal policy framework that puts Government as an enabler of services rather than a provider, this must stop and if this pandemic has shown us one thing we should never outsource or privatise our essential services.”

Mr Ong said the Government was already well-positioned to move forward as a provider of essential energy projects in the public interest.

“The ETU calls on the Government to invest significantly more money directly into the publicly-owned CleanCo budget so they can invest directly in the construction, ownership, and operation of renewable projects.”

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