Palaszczuk, Nicholls promote energy plans

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls have spruiked their respective renewable energy plans in the lead up to an election that will be hard fought on power prices.

In her address to industry representatives in Townsville on Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk reaffirmed her Labor government’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 and said her administration had fostered significant investment in renewable sources.

“It’s that target that is generating the investment and the drive here in Queensland,” she said.

“What my government clearly wants to do is to make sure that we continue to foster the right climate for you to continue to invest.”

Ms Palaszczuk also lashed out at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for not doing enough to bring states and territories together in a collaborative effort to boost renewable sources.

“We are seeing a lack of leadership when it comes to the Prime Minister in setting a national energy policy framework,” she added.

“All we have heard is the bickering that comes with not working collaboratively.”

Meanwhile, Liberal National Party Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls on Thursday announced his party’s renewable energy target of 23 per cent by 2020.

“An LNP government will reject the headlong rush to a 50 per cent renewable energy target because we’ve seen what happens when that occurs, in South Australia, the most expensive power prices in the western world.”

“That’s why we support a privately funded, high-efficiency low emissions coal fired power station in north Queensland, to help drive a lower power price.”

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the figure scraped just above the current renewable energy supply.

“(It is) barely above the benchmarks are that we are currently experiencing,” he told reporters in Cairns.

“It goes to show that the Queensland LNP are absolutely out of step with not only what the experts are saying, and they’re clearly not listening, they’re also out of step with what sort of projects are financially viable.”

The announcements come amid speculation of an election by the end of the year, which analysts say will be fought on energy prices and employment.

© AAP 2017

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