I’m writing this travelling back from Townsville, where the Queensland Premier just announced a $2bn fund to invest in renewable storage, energy and hydrogen.

This is big news! This is the energy storage that will allow for our State to transition to renewable energy, creating jobs and reducing emissions!

This $2bn will unlock even more investment. Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser commented that this $2bn would allow his and other Government-owned Corporations (CS Energy, Stanwell and Clean Co) to borrow an additional $6bn. This $8 billion is the scale of investment we will need to achieve our Powerup Qld campaign goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030!

Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) has been fighting hard for this $2bn investment, through our involvement in Queensland Community Alliance, including a direct ask to Deputy Premier Steven Miles at our Assembly two weeks ago. And yesterday, together with unions, faith groups and other community and environment organisations involved in the Alliance, we won!

This is an important stepping stone, but the Powerup Qld campaign is not won yet. We must keep up the pressure. One of our key objectives for the next few months will be to convince the joint owners of Callide C, CS Energy and Intergen as well as Energy Minister Mick de Brenni not to rebuild the damaged Callide C4 unit that caught fire two weeks ago. Instead, they should invest the insurance payout on batteries and renewables that would reduce electricity prices and increase stability.

This week, the Queensland Government also announced $22m for a business case study into a pumped hydro project at Borumba Dam on the Sunshine Coast. While we support renewable energy storage, we need it to occur together with greater protection of nature and threatened species. We will be working in partnership with Sunshine Coast Environment Council and local environmental activists to make sure that the community concern for the environment are addressed. See initial joint position here.

And that’s just news from the Queensland Government. QCC has also had a busy month of achievement.

For the first time ever, we held our Ministerial Environment Roundtable outside of Brisbane, with 25 environmental group leaders meeting with Minister Meaghan Scanlon and senior public servants from the Department of Environment and Science in Cairns. The Government made 35 commitments to us to act on a range of conservation and nature issues.

We followed this up with our first ever online Evening with the Minister. Three Hundred environment movement leaders and activists met with Minister Scanlon online, and delivered their message of our shared environmental priorities.

On this night, we won a real commitment from the Minister to reject the Federal Government’s terrible plan to devolve inadequate protections to the state government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. This sent ripples around Australia, and helped the Senate cross-bench last week once again reject Government pressure to pass these terrible laws.

We also saw promises to:

  1. Transfer 20,000 hectares of state forest to National Parks in this term of Government.
  2. Expand single use plastic bans to coffee cups and heavy plastic bags, and work to fund  sustainability outcomes through the waste levy.
  3. Work with us on a proposed Environmental Protection Authority, and on a 2022 funding bid for to expand National Parks and private protected areas.

The Minister also committed to come to future Evenings. We are hatching a bold plan to grow this event over time, so that next time the Queensland Government hears directly from all of you!

Finally, we’re distributing 100s of Climate Action Now signs across Queensland. In Brisbane were are focusing on the Ryan electorate in Brisbane’s Western suburbs. Together with our regional conservation councils we are creating a distribution plan for regional cities across the state. Click here to request your sign.

As you can tell, QCC is growing, and increasing our impact and profile, and it’s thanks to the growing contribution of people like you.

If you can, please help us continue to grow by becoming a Nature Guardian, and make a regular monthly donation. These regular donations don’t have to be much, but they give us the confidence to keep planning great activities in the future.

Dave Copeman, Director QCC

More Information
Queensland Conservation Council is the peak body for Queensland’s environmental movement, representing over 50 community environment groups across the state.

QCC is based in West End, at 1/377 Montague Rd, West End QLD 4101

You can follow QCC on Facebook HERE

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