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    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    $600 MILLION BOOST TO QUEENSLAND’S CLEAN COAL INITIATIVES

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    $600 MILLION BOOST TO QUEENSLAND’S CLEAN COAL INITIATIVES

    Queensland’s coal industry has pledged to raise about $600 million over the next 10 years to fund clean coal initiatives, Premier Peter Beattie announced today following talks with industry leaders in Brisbane.

    Mr Beattie said the industry’s commitment included a $300 million investment in a near zero emissions power plant in Queensland, a project that will place the State at the cutting edge of global developments in clean coal technology.

    “This commitment ensures Queensland is right at the forefront of the global effort to slash carbon emissions. It will also help protect the long term interests of the State’s $18 billion a year coal industry and secure our future electricity supply,” Mr Beattie said.

    “From 1 July this year our coal producers have agreed to a voluntary levy of 20 cents for every tonne of coal sold.

    “It is estimated that the voluntary levy will raise about $600 million over 10 years, based on current estimates of future coal tonnage in Queensland.

    “Today’s decision shows a real commitment by the industry to share the load and meet the challenge of climate change,” Mr Beattie said.

    “As a general principle, each dollar contributed from the Queensland coal producers fund should be matched by a $2 investment by other project participants.

    “It was also agreed today that a Clean Coal Council would be established with equal representation from the State Government and industry, in addition to technical experts,” Mr Beattie said.

    “The Council would advise the Government on funding priorities, assess projects and make recommendations on funding for the Government to consider.

    “Its first task will be to identify the optimal scale and configuration of the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle project,” Mr Beattie said.

    “Both parties have agreed to review the operation of the Fund should a future carbon tax be introduced. Any such review would not result in funds committed to a project being withdrawn, but both parties will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that these funds are recognised within a carbon regulatory regime,” Mr Beattie said.

    Media enquiries: 3224 4500
    17 May 2007