In just the latest in a long line of scandals, the Guardian revealed that embattled Energy Minister Angus Taylor has once again found himself in hot water by announcing a grant two days before actually inviting the recipient to apply for it.
After winning several Queensland seats in the 2019 election by promising a new coal-fired power station in Collinsville, on 8 February this year the Morrison Government announced grant funding of “Up to $4 million to support Shine Energy Pty Ltd’s feasibility study for a proposed 1GW high efficiency, low emissions coal plant at Collinsville in Queensland”.
In damming revelations, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources have confirmed that Shine Energy was asked to submit an application for that already announced funding on 10 February, 2 days AFTER the funding was announced.
This latest revelation further exposes the fact that the Government’s support for Shine Energy’s new coal project has always been a hoax to buy votes and has nothing to do with securing jobs or affordable and reliable power in North Queensland.
As the Australian Energy Council has previously said, new coal fired power plants in Australia don’t stack up and are “uninvestable” because they are far more expensive than alternatives, including renewables backed by storage.
As Shine Energy have previously stated with respect to their project, building a new coal plant is going to need significant taxpayer support, which the Australian Industry Group has estimated would cost up to $17 billion for a single plant.
Like everything Minister Taylor touches, this Collinsville coal plant process has been an expensive, incompetent, purely political disaster from start to finish.
That’s why Labor Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler has written to the Auditor General asking him to investigate the Federal Government’s conduct in awarding and announcing a $4 million taxpayer grant two days before asking the recipient to apply for it.
Angus Taylor needs to spend less time wasting taxpayers money to hoodwink the people of North Queensland with coal-fired boondoggles and accept Labor’s call for a bipartisan energy policy that will deliver real jobs and investment to Queensland and the rest of the country.