Making renewables work for Central Queensland workers, families and communities

Published Tuesday, 10 August, 2021 at 03:05 PM

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Central Queensland communities will be among the first in the nation to be asked how they want the multi-billion dollar renewable energy sector to benefit their families, jobs and region.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni today launched public consultation to collect community feedback on Queensland’s three renewable energy zones (QREZs) – central, northern and southern zones.

Support for renewables is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic, Mr de Brenni said, and the Central QREZ is currently the energy powerhouse of Queensland with significant long-term hydrogen potential and home to large energy producers and demand through its industrial processing facilities, like the Boyne Island aluminium smelter.

As part of the registration of interest held last year, 67 renewable projects registered interest in the Central QREZ representing over $39B of potential investment within its 14 Local Government Areas surrounding Rockhampton, Gladstone, and Bundaberg. 

“This will be the first time in the nation that communities will be able to have their say on how renewable projects and energy infrastructure within the QREZ are developed to benefit them, their family, and their community,” Mr de Brenni said.

“We will ensure that QREZs are developed in a way that maximises community benefits and economic outcomes.

“This consultation paper outlines principles for engagement, sharing benefits with communities and delivering local jobs and local procurement in QREZ.

“It seeks to understand what local communities, small business, manufacturers and renewables and hydrogen project developers view as important in the development of Queensland’s renewable energy zones and how to deliver lasting, meaningful benefits for communities and workers.

“This will ensure community views and genuine local benefits are front and centre in the development process for QREZ.”

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said Queensland’s renewable energy zones offered massive opportunities.

“The QREZ approach has enormous potential to accelerate renewable energy deployment across regional Queensland and deliver significant jobs and economic opportunities,” Mr Thornton said.

“It’s crucial that the voice of the community is central in getting the design of QREZ right and we welcome this important consultation.  

MP for Rockhampton and Hydrogen Champion Barry O’Rourke said the public consultation would be followed by a technical paper later in the year, for feedback from industry and other energy stakeholders on the framework for QREZ design and access.

“Our focus is on creating more secure local jobs and rebuilding our manufacturing sector in CQ,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Having a cheap, reliable energy supply is a key part of that.”

The online survey is open until 30 September 2021.


Media contact:  Dan Knowles 0432 681 664