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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Energy and Water Utilities
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Skills and innovation supporting Queensland’s $32.6 billion resources sector

    Energy and Water Utilities
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Skills and innovation supporting Queensland’s $32.6 billion resources sector

    Energy Minister Stephen Robertson today opened the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology (QCAT) Innovation and Excellence Day and said the Bligh Government was meeting the challenges of supporting the state’s $32.6 billion resources sector.

    Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government was delivering the vital skills, innovation and infrastructure to help resource industries meet the energy, water and skills challenges to sustain growth.

    “QCAT is a partnership between the CSIRO and the Queensland Government for the development of innovation in the resources sector, Mr Robertson said.

    “Meeting the skill requirements of a rapid growing resources sector, improving water security, and developing new energy opportunities are priority areas where we are delivering results.

    “The Bligh Government is working with industry to address the projected workforce shortfall in the resources sector through the Mining Industry Skills Centre and the schools-based Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy.

    “To help guide skills development, we have also established Skills Queensland to partner with industry and make sure the skill requirements of employers are identified and met.

    “The skills requirements of economic hot spots such as the Surat Basin, Gladstone and the Bowen and Galilee Basins are being targeted through workforce development plans produced by Skills Queensland.”

    Mr Robertson said innovation was driving the government’s development of renewable energy technologies with attention now turning to large scale energy projects with the capacity to help meet the energy requirements of a growing Queensland.

    “The proposed Solar Dawn 250 megawatt solar thermal gas hybrid project at Chinchilla and the nearby Kogan Creek Power Station, where solar generation has been integrated with a coal fired power station, are world-class projects,” he said.

    “The Solar Dawn project will be one of the most environmentally responsible power production plants in the world and Kogan Creek is the world’s first utility scale integration of solar power into a coal-fired power station.

    “These initiatives are evidence of our Government’s commitment to a clean energy future for Queensland.”

    Mr Robertson said due to the implementation of the South East Queensland (SEQ) Water Grid, we now have the backbone of continuous and accessible water supply to support all industry growth and innovation.

    “Further innovation is shown through the various resource industries supporting each other,” he said.

    “An example of shared support across the resources sector is how the SEQ Water Grid uses the award winning Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme to supply purified water to major power stations.

    “This project includes more than 200 kilometres of large-diameter underground pipeline and three advanced water treatment plants and has the capacity to supply up to 232 million litres of purified recycled water to the power stations and industry each day, for rural use and to replenish Wivenhoe Dam.

    The development of new opportunities in the resources sector requires exploration and the Queensland Government’s $18 million Greenfields 2020 Program is delivering real success in identifying the new mines of tomorrow.

    Mr Robertson said the program provided industry with geo scientific data and financial assistance through the Collaborative Drilling Grants Initiative, which provides $3 million in grants to industry.

    “Since the Collaborative Drilling Initiative started in 2006, nearly 70 exploration companies have received $9 million for 109 projects worth $37 million,” he said.

    “These projects will continue to ensure the government can meet the demands of the projected growth of Queensland’s resources sector.”

    Media contact: Zoe Russell on 0437 436 914