A Shorten Labor Government will commit $200 million in financing to construct a new hydro-electric power station at the Burdekin dam, putting downward pressure on power bills, creating 150 jobs and generating enough electricity for 30,000 homes. Labor will also commit $100 million to ensure much needed water security and local jobs to Townsville.
A hydro-electric power station is a vital, future focused project for North Queensland that will deliver sustainable energy supply for North Queensland homes, manufacturing businesses and export industries.
Labor’s new hydro-electric generator will give Townsville the energy it needs, without further putting at risk the heath of the Reef on which tens of thousands of North Queensland jobs rely.
The Government only seems interested in building new hydro power in the south and has completely ignored the potential for new hydro power in the north.
North Queensland is already a significant producer of hydro-electric generation, with over 155 megawatts (MW) of power produced from:
Barron Gorge 60 MW
Kareeya 88 MW
Koombooloomba 7 MW; and
Small micro hydro at Tinaroo 1.6MW
This new electricity generation capacity will be funded by reducing the size of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund by $200 million and delivering that financing to the hydro-electric project. This fund is yet to deliver investment to a single project.
Labor will make this $200 million available to fund the Burdekin Hydro-electric generation plant, pending the outcome of the Queensland Government feasibility study.
Labor will also deliver the infrastructure needed to get Townsville off water restrictions and give it the water security it needs to continue to grow. We know that Townsville is sick of more and more feasibility studies and no action.
There is currently a water taskforce examining the best water security solutions for Townsville. With this commitment we will ensure the hard work of the taskforce is matched with real action by a Federal Labor Government.
Water is a critical issue for Townsville, and Labor’s hard working local MP Cathy O’Toole has been pushing hard for today’s announcement. With the right water infrastructure, Townsville can continue to flourish.
Labor’s $100 million commitment towards the right infrastructure will kick-start the project and get work underway.
Labor will use the funding to implement the findings of the taskforce, working with the State Government and local government to finalise the design and funding for the project.
This will most likely include a second pipeline to provide additional water every day to homes and businesses in Townsville.
The design of this pipeline will be finalised following consultation with the local community.
Labor will incorporate the findings of the taskforce into the finalisation of its commitment in consultation with Council and the Queensland Government.
Water security is a critical issue for Townsville. With strong projected population growth, this issue will only become more pressing.
Water security is an essential component in attracting Australians to the regions, which will help build growth opportunities in Northern Australia.
Ignoring the problem will only make the pressures more acute and see restrictions become more severe.
Once again, Labor is leading in giving Townsville the infrastructure it needs. We did it with the stadium, and now we’re doing it with water security.
TUESDAY, 2 MAY 2017