Nuclear will cost Queensland jobs

Published Monday, 13 May, 2024 at 12:35 PM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

  • The LNP backed “Nuclear for Climate Australia” has identified multiple sites in North Queensland for nuclear reactors.
  • This would see nuclear reactors in Townsville, the Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Brisbane Valley, Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and more.
  • LNP going nuclear risks Copperstring jobs, critical minerals boom for Townsville to Mount Isa
  • Labor backs clean and renewable energy not nuclear.
  • The Miles Government is already delivering jobs and clean energy through the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and development of the SuperGrid.
  • Those jobs would be at risk with the LNP’s nuclear plans.

The Miles Government is focussing on clean energy jobs and has a working plan for a safe and responsible transition to renewable energy, that will protect existing jobs and create new ones.

Queenslanders from Townsville to Mt Isa are at the heart of Labor’s leading plan for a clean economy future.

Our plan to build CopperString will provide more than 800 jobs during construction and will unlock the $500 billion North West Minerals Province, by linking it with Hughenden and up to 6,000 MW of renewable energy.

This is the nation’s largest expansion to the power grid and it is paid for by progressive coal royalties.

Labor’s plan has seen unemployment in Townsville drop from 10.8% (March 2017) to 3.7% now.

By putting their fossil fuel friends before Queensland’s transition, the LNP is risking thousands of jobs and return to high unemployment.

The LNP’s nuclear option is an LNP recipe for a cost-of-living meltdown.  Nuclear is the most expensive option. It is 5 times the price of renewables.

International examples show it will take around 19 years to build a nuclear power station.

This is decades too late for Townsville employers who need clean, affordable energy now to remain competitive.

Nuclear is neither clean nor renewable. And it’s illegal in both Queensland and Australia.

The LNP backed proposal targets nuclear power stations in Townsville, Gladstone, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane Valley, Ipswich, Darling Downs, the Western Downs, Rockhampton, and Callide.

Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:

“The LNP are proposing nuclear reactors right across this state. Up to three near Townsville, while they have earmarked locations on the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane Valley and Ipswich.

“What we know about those nuclear reactors is that they will be much more expensive. As much as five times more expensive for your household power bills.

“We also know that as a result of those reactors, future generations of Queenslanders will have to manage nuclear waste forever.

“That’s the LNP’s plan. Higher prices and nuclear waste; putting our waterways, our environment and our beautiful state at risk.”

Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Mick de Brenni:

“Everyone from Townsville Enterprise to the Queensland Resources Council backs Labor’s plan on renewable energy, because Copperstring means jobs and long-term prosperity for the region.

“The only exception is the LNP, who voted in Parliament to oppose the Energy and Jobs Plan, because they are opposed to renewables and public ownership.

“It seems that everybody in Townsville wants local manufacturing and jobs here, except David Crisafulli, who will not stand up to Peter Dutton and Ted O’Brien and actually back Townsville jobs.

“We know how risky and expensive nuclear is and we know David Crisafulli deserted North Queensland for the glitter strip on the Gold Coast, and now he’s setting Townsville up for an unemployment and cost of living meltdown.

“North Queensland already has the world's best plan to protect local jobs through the transition, so why would the LNP turn its back on the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and Copperstring, just so they can cosy up to their big donors?

“Labor is backing renewable energy because it protects jobs in North Queensland, from Townsville to Mt Isa and beyond, and Labor is not prepared to risk those jobs.”

Quotes attributable To Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper:

“I do not want to see a nuclear reactor in Townsville and anywhere near the banks of the much loved and well used Ross River.

“Nobody in Thuringowa and the Upper Ross will accept nuclear waste travelling down Riverway Drive.

“We know the LNP back nuclear energy and are against renewable energy.

“We know that David Crisafulli and the state LNP are too weak to stand up to Peter Dutton’s nuclear agenda.

“There are serious questions to answer from the LNP about their connections to Nuclear for Climate’s plan for nuclear power in Townsville.

“Peter Dutton and David Crisafulli’s nuclear agenda pose an unacceptable risk to Townsville.”

 Background information:

  • Nuclear for Climate Australia, which has the backing of the Coalition, has identified multiple sites in Queensland as ideal spots to host nuclear reactors.
  • Nuclear power is currently illegal in Queensland.
  • Miles Government is delivering cheaper, cleaner, reliable power to develop the North West Minerals Province.
  • Nation’s largest expansion to the power grid – SuperGrid, not a MiniGrid.
  • CopperString will connect nation’s largest renewable energy zone at Hughenden and power a critical minerals industry that will supply world’s transition
  • CopperString will be 100% publicly owned

Fast Facts

  • Nuclear power production is prohibited under two pieces of legislation:
    • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998
    • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  • CSIRO estimate the capital cost of small modular reactors in 2030 to be $15,959/kW, compared to wind at $2105/kW and solar at $1134/kW.