3 April, 2019 –
It’s very disappointing to see that the 2019-20 Federal Budget offers no real energy infrastructure in Queensland to support manufacturing jobs, and no support for important water protection measures.
On energy –
On energy, there is no infrastructure, just a taskforce and feasibility studies – $13.5 million for the Underwriting New Generation Investments program that was announced last week.
This is essentially a feasibility study in the north and the shortlisting of two small projects on the Downs for underwriting.
Let’s contrast this with the southern states: there’s $1.4 billion for the Snowy 2.0 project in NSW and $56 million for a feasibility study for the Marinus Link interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria.
The Federal Government committed $3.2 million to establish a taskforce to advance Integrated System Plan projects, which the Energy Security Board is already well placed to advance: simply an unnecessary duplication of resources.
I would have hoped to have seen some action to lower energy prices and address climate change, through support for the transition to a renewable future, and for real energy infrastructure.
The Budget also fails to respond to Queensland’s requests for Commonwealth support for gas infrastructure.
Australia needs new gas to meet demand, to provide feedstock to manufacturers and fuel industry and jobs.
Queensland has the gas reserves; but industry needs more infrastructure to encourage their investment in bringing that gas to market.
On water management –
Queensland has established its own Rural Water Management Program delivering a strict compliance framework – yet again leading the way on Murray-Darling Basin protection.
We have sought Commonwealth assistance for this important work due to them previously providing $250 million for New South Wales, but last night I saw no real support to the reforms Queensland is making to improve water management outcomes.