Townsville, Gladstone and Mackay have the workforce and infrastructure
necessary to be leaders in the clean industries of the future, according to a new report.
The report, from the Climate Council, highlights the state’s natural resources as driving its potential to become a world leader in renewable energy, as well as in industries such as clean manufacturing, minerals processing and renewable hydrogen.
“Leaders and Legends: Thousands of Clean Jobs for Queenslanders” finds that accelerating the development of Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) will give Queensland a global competitive advantage in energy-intensive industries, create jobs and new export opportunities.
“There are so many reasons to be optimistic about Queensland’s economic future as it rebuilds from COVID-19,” Climate Council chief executive officer Amanda McKenzie said.
“The growth of renewable energy generation in the state is bringing down power prices, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which will help protect Queensland’s natural tourism assets, like the Great Barrier Reef.
“Recent commitments from State and Federal governments to progress the Copperstring 2.0 project demonstrate that the time is right for Queensland to just get on with it and unlock new opportunities in both renewables and clean manufacturing.”
She said regional cities like Townsville, Gladstone and Mackay had the skilled workforce, close proximity to excellent renewable resources, and established industrial infrastructure that made them ideal to develop clean industries.
- Queensland can accelerate the development of renewable energy zones (REZs) across the state. The proposed REZs in the Darling Downs and Far North Queensland could create up to 2000 jobs in each region by 2025.
- In the immediate term, the Climate Council’s Clean Jobs Plan has found 15,000 – 20,000 jobs could be created in Queensland across 12 policy areas.
- Townsville could become a hub for lithium-ion battery manufacturing and metals processing, and Central Queensland could become a clean steel powerhouse, creating 15,000 local jobs by 2050.
- CopperString 2.0 – a proposed transmission project connecting North West Queensland to the National Electricity Market (NEM) – will unlock exceptional wind and solar resources and new opportunities in mining and minerals processing. It is expected to reduce electricity prices across the region by 40 per cent.
- Construction of CopperString 2.0 is expected to create 750 direct jobs over three years, while downstream industrial opportunities unlocked by the project are expected to create an additional 3,560 full-time jobs.
- Electricity prices in South East Queensland are projected to fall 20 per cent from 2019 to 2022, due in part to the recent boom in renewable energy projects.