Marine conservationists have welcomed today’s announcement from the Queensland government to expand the Renewable Energy Fund from $500 million to $2 billion to support the growth of manufacturing powered by publicly-owned renewable energy.
Great Barrier Reef campaigner David Cazzulino from the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said: “This is great news for our Great Barrier Reef. Unlocking clean renewable energy and storage is key to tackling climate change, our Reef’s greatest threat.
“This announcement shows the Queensland government is listening to community members who have been demanding investment in clean energy jobs in order for us to do our fair share on climate change.
“The $2 billion fund will keep Queensland’s energy in public hands as the state government invests in solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery storage that can be used to power clean manufacturing and hydrogen exports.
“As the state’s coal fired power stations struggle to maintain profitability compared to cheap renewable energy coming online, keeping the next generation of power in public hands means Queenslanders can reap the benefits of lower energy costs into the future.”
AMCS Great Barrier Reef Cairns campaigner Garrett Swearingen said: “We welcome this substantial investment which will power a shift away from fossil fuels and address global heating, the number one threat to our Reef.
“Cairns locals have long asked for investments in renewables to protect our Reef and provide decent, clean energy jobs to our region. We wholeheartedly welcome this announcement and call on the Federal Government to follow the Queensland Government’s lead and invest in clean renewable energy, not polluting coal and gas.”