Rural

No country faces on energy panel

Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey.
Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey. Kevin Farmer

THERE is no regional or rural representation on the Queensland Government's newly appointed Renewable Energy Taskforce.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey on Wednesday conceded the five-member panel was city-centric but he said the taskforce's final recommendations would deliver benefits for people living outside of metropolitan areas.

Mr Bailey said the government was committed to having large energy projects, particularly solar farms, operating across regional Queensland.

He said country communities were keen to get on board the renewable energy train and this was evidenced by a solid response to Ergon Energy's recent expression of interest for projects in the sector.

Ideas put forward included wind farms at Mount Emerald and Forsayth, solar farms at Collinsville, Clare, Cooktown and Lilyvale and a biomass project at Mount Cotton.

Mr Bailey said the taskforce would "investigate and identify ways" for the government to roll out its statewide 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

"This panel deliberately has a strong business and commercial focus ... because we're serious about the commercial opportunities available in this area for Queensland," he said.

The panel will also look at how the state can reach its target of one million solar rooftops or 3000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by 2020 and promoting long-term commercial and consumer benefits.

Chaired by infrastructure expert and retired investment banker Colin Mugglestone, the panel will consult with consumer groups, householders, peak energy industry representatives, energy businesses and unions.

It will deliver its final report to the government by the year's end.

Mr Mugglestone said the panel would work towards handing over a set of recommendations that reflected the views of regional and metropolitan Queenslanders.

"I'm looking forward to getting out and meeting with people across the state and understanding their views," he said.

"We will be using a range of methods to seek these views and I hope people will contribute in their own way in confidence that we are really interested in what they have to say."

WHO ARE THEY?

THE Queensland Government's newly appointed Renewable Energy Taskforce members:

  • Colin Mugglestone: Former investment banker with engineering and infrastructure experience.
  • Allison Warburton: Leading private and government sector adviser across the energy, resources and power-generation industries and member of the Law Council of Australia's Climate Change committee.
  • Paul Meredith: Professor of Physics at the University of Queensland and director of UQ Solar.
  • Paul Hyslop: Energy consultant with more than 20 years' experience in the sector either in corporations or advising government and corporations.
  • Amanda McKenzie: CEO of the Climate Council and named on the 2014 Australian 100 Women of Influence list.
Gympie Times

Topics:  energy, regional queensland



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