Coalition wants to build 1.2GW coal plant, using climate funds | RenewEconomy

Coalition wants to build 1.2GW coal plant, using climate funds

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As new modelling emerges for 100% renewable Australia, Coalition repeats desire to build massive Queensland coal plant, use climate funds to help pay for it.

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The Turnbull Coalition government has kicked off its informal re-election campaign by repeating its desire to build a massive coal fired power station in north Queensland, only this time it proposes to use climate funds to help pay for the project.

In confirmation that little has changed in the switch from the Abbott to the Turnbull regimes, Queensland MP Ewen Jones became the latest member of the Coalition to outline the federal  government’s plan for future energy innovation: more fossil fuels.


On the same day as a compelling economic case for shifting Australia to 100 per cent renewable energy is published, and just days ahead of Australia signing the Paris climate agreement, Jones suggested that the government could use funds from Direct Action, as well as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the northern Australian infrastructure fund, to support development of a 1.2GW coal-fired generator in north Queensland.

Ignore for a moment the fact that Australia already has a surplus of nearly 7,000MW of coal-fired capacity, and the carbon emissions impact of adding yet more, Jones argued that a coal-fired power station was critical to address unemployment issues around Townsville.

“The one thing we can’t do in North Queensland is develop our industrial base, because the cost of power is just so huge,” Jones told the Q&A audience on Monday night.

“If, through using Direct Action …and the clean energy finance corporation and private money we can develop a power plant or a power station (to power the planned Adani Carmichael coal mine) of 1.2GW and make it a super efficient, or an ultra-efficient, ultra-critical power plant, we can then bring the $5 billion concessional loan facility on developing the north of Australia that can build the poles and wires, which will be a saleable asset, to bring that power to the national energy market.”

Leaving aside the obvious contradiction of using federal government funds allocated to fight climate change and to finance renewable energy to build a coal plant to power a coal mine, it sounds like a great plan – just not one for this century. 332703491191825911_C1UCvuHz_c

For a more 21st Century approach to the problems of future energy supply in a world that is committed to curbing dangerous global warming, the Coalition need only take a look at the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney report, released on Tuesday.

The report, which was commissioned by GetUp and Solar Citizens, models a scenario where not just electricity, but also all transport and heat used by Australian industry, is transitioned to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

The study found that making this shift would cost about $800 billion between now and 2050. And while that amounts to about $650 billion more than continuing with the status quo, this cost is more than cancelled out by removing the need for fossil fuels, and thus saving the economy up to $740 billion; a total saving of $90 billion over the period to 2050.

In short, fuel cost savings would cover 110 per cent of the capital investment required to transition the economy.

At least John Hewson, a former leader of the Liberal Party leader and an economist, gets it. As he told the Q&A audience on Monday night, “the Adani Carmichael mine is a massive mistake for this country” – both economically and from the point of view of climate change.

“The climate change numbers are that about 75 per cent of known coal reserves today cannot ever be mined (if we’re going to meet climate targets),” Hewson said.

“So to contemplate opening a large new mine simply for the benefit of exporting that coal to India, it boggles my mind.

“Having said that I think there are some interesting projects around in North Queensland,” he added, pointing to a project in the region he had been working on for the last couple of years, which was helping the sugar cane industry diversify, by keeping the waste the gas from the sugar cane and using it to generate 100 per cent renewable electricity.

“You can have a game changer in the sugar industry by a simple application of technology. I think that’s where a big future exists for northern Australia, is applying technology. And you can have a lot of renewable energy generated in the sugar industry all the way down the coast if you just apply that simple model.

“The model we have is you build a plant a mill that’s about a 100-year life, you pay back all the debt and equity under that model in 25 years and the family get to own it…for the next 75 years, pass it on to your family.

“These are solutions that have got economic benefit, obviously jobs and growth, but equally very significant social benefits, and they keep families together, they keep the industry going, they rejuvenate a town like Townsville.”

And just to top of the issue about a market for Camichael coal, the Indian energy minister this week repeated his intention to bring an end to coal imports into India. He says doing so would save the country $8 billion a year.

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  1. Keith 4 years ago

    Oh dear, I still live in hope that this was a thought bubble from someone who is deeply disconnected from what is happening in the international community.

    I can’t believe that this is a serious proposal. Even Tony Turnbull has to understand that this is nutty.

    • suthnsun 4 years ago

      No Keith, enough is enough, we need to wipe the LNP off the electoral map and give some room for new green shoots..

      • solarguy 4 years ago

        Too right, we need everyone to shout it out, they must be gone.

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      He does I’m sure but, he’s a puppet of the far right lunatic’s or he’s had the required LNP party lobotomy.

  2. lin 4 years ago

    These troglodyte politicians will be the death of us all. They need to be eliminated from our political process ASAP. They just don’t get it, no facts or reasoned argument will change that.

    • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

      A Manus Island just for them ….

  3. phred01 4 years ago

    Well the coalition thinks Australians are of a low mentality. What happened to clean coal…….found it don’t work. This must be a soop to Alanti coal as `India now has a glut and increasing production whilst dropping the price

  4. Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

    Ewan Jones is either blind to reason by his thought bubble, or, he is just not very bright.

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      All of the above!

  5. howardpatr 4 years ago

    “France lifts solar target three-fold by 2023, as it aims for 50% renewables”.

    But in Australia the dominant ring wing religious followers of Mad Monk Abbott tell Cayman Turnbull what he can and can’t do when it comes to anthropogenic climate change and the renewable energy future.

    What a dismal flop Cayman and Lucy Turnbull are.

  6. Nicko 4 years ago

    Beyond satire.

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      Yes it would be laughable, if it wasn’t so bloody serious. The rest of the world must think were morons.

      • adelady 4 years ago

        I thought getting rid of Tonedeaf Tony would have improved our reputation.

        Now this clown lurches out of the funny little car with the non-round wheels to revive all those best-forgotten images.

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          Oh yes, it’s called Noddy Land!

  7. Geoff 4 years ago

    How can both major parties in this country get what seems to be a simple policy decision so perfectly wrong?

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      No mate just the Lunatic Nazi Party. Don’t bring Labor into this mindlessness.

      • John McKeon 4 years ago

        “Don’t bring Labor into this mindlessness.”

        Well in that case the Labor party should go its hardest at imitating the Greens. Seriously. And watch out for donations from coal interests. The ALP is as vulnerable as ever to these sorts of twists and turns.

        • Andy G 4 years ago

          The ALP is only vulnerable because Turnbull is so far left that their precious little room for anyone else to the left of him.

          • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

            Gee, you don’t even understand right-wing propaganda tricks, what hope have you got with reality?

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          No John, King coal will give their money to their only supporters, the LNP.

      • Geoff 4 years ago

        Our state labor government is still approving new coal mines, and talking up the prospects that it somehow these have a long term future. Neither are covering themselves with glory.

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          Unfortunately that’s politics. The Government know there is no investment money for coal, so won’t go ahead anyway. Just appeasing out of work miners that their doing all they can.

  8. Petra Liverani 4 years ago

    Have some fun – Go to Ewen Jones’ website ( where you will be greeted by a survey on crime.

    • Peter Campbell 4 years ago

      Good idea. I just filled in the survey saying that I have heard that some politicians want to build more coal power stations, when we have a glut of them, and this is a crime. Also, that he should listen to John Hewson.

  9. Coley 4 years ago

    Totally unbelievable! Hold on, do you have a different ‘ April fools day’ in Australia? Time difference and all that.

    • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

      The coalition have this tradition of putting ideas out there. No one’s really sure how seriously to take them. It’s either very serious or branded a thought bubble. After a day of sound bites and negative media they pull in their heads. As there are several views available of what they stand for, it’s difficult for them to take considered policy to an election campaign.

  10. John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

    The greatest joke here is the use for this new coal-fired power station – to power the mine to dig the coal out of the ground! Every part of the coal mine, from drilling rigs, to draglines to coal processing plants and conveyor belts uses lots of electricity- even the lights so that they can keep the operation going 24/7. Then you need electricity to power the port facilities when the coal reaches Abbott point.
    But why do we need the coal, if India doesn’t want it? Well we need the coal to keep the power station going, of course!
    So where would we build this shiny new power station? Well we could build it on the coast near Mackay, and build lots of lovely expensive transmission towers to take the electricity back up to the mine. Maybe we could even electrify the rail line!
    Ewan Jones plan for new jobs for North Queenslanders! They’d do less harm if they were employed digging dirt out of one hole to dump it in another.
    If Jones were an endorsed candidate in any political party I supported, I’d call for his immediate expulsion. But I’m happy for him to stay in the LNP.

    • John McKeon 4 years ago

      This call for yet another coal fired power station – in this day and age – reminds me of the craze for perpetual motion machines which the intellectually handicapped – every now and then – propose to solve our energy problems.

      • Andy G 4 years ago

        To develop and make progress, you must first have a good solid electricity supply.
        Who the f*** do you think you are to DENY the right of Northern Australia to come actually make some progress and GROW.
        You would do the same to third world countries. stopping their development, stopping them climbing out of poverty, causing many children to continue to die before they have a chance to live.
        I hope you are really, really happy.

        • John McKeon 4 years ago

          More childish negative hyperbole. Human induced climate change is NOT progress. The poorest in the poorest nations will suffer the most if we do not stop carbon pollution of the atmosphere. Fossil fuels? Just build the renewables bridge and Get.Over.It.

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            The poorest countries ARE suffering, from the idiocy of the anti-CO2 / anti-progress agenda. In fact some of the richest countries are also suffering from the idiotic renewable farce , like Germany and the UK. Scotland is now a maze of wind turbine, destruction of all tourism, destruction of a once beautiful landscape.
            I hope you and your ilk are really, really happy.

          • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

            Giles or other moderator: could you block this troll who is diverting useful discussion ?

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            I so love it when people like you cannot FACE THE TRUTH

            Hey little inner city leftie….. Look around you.

            The walls of your house, plaster, maybe brick outside.

            Tin or tile roof.

            Cement for your driveway. The tar on the roads

            Food.., your de-caf-soy-latte…

            … how is it delivered to the supermarket.. trucks.

            I could go on for pages and pages, and pages..

            But do you want to know the one thing that sustains your
            whole existence…

            FOSSIL FUELS.

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            Yes block me.. hide your reader from REALITY ! 😉

          • Agatha Trunchbull 4 years ago

            Sorry Andy, over the next couple of decades FOSSIL FUELS will be superseded by renewable technologies.. They will become redundant and you will have to ruefully look on as one after another fossil fuel technologies are replaced by horrible things like solar and wind power. Eventually the day will come when all the fossil fuel technologies are obsolete and exist only in museums as a reminder of their legacy. Do you think you will be a able to cope?

          • peter 4 years ago

            Agatha, you and the other blind believers on this page should look at the Live Generation table above that shows clearly that renewable energy, when you take out Hydro, provided almost no energy for Australia today. What a joke! LOL

          • Agatha Trunchbull 4 years ago

            Regardless, soon your precious fossil fuel technologies will all be gone and you will have to suffer under the wrath of the greens/reptiles one world government, and eat nothing but lentils and do yoga at gunpoint. You moron.

          • peter 4 years ago

            Where will those technologies go? Are you going to ban them? Burn the books? So you admit that is the only way that renewables (that are totally unreliable) can replace fueled power? Well, your true colours now show, Agatha Trenchbull, you are fascist bitch !

          • Agatha Trunchbull 4 years ago

            Oh no! Peter your piercing intellect has penetrated the heart of our Eco-fascist conspiracy! You’re right, environmentalists and scientist are truly conspiring to rule the world and stop all human progress for ever! That’s why we invented climate change and other environmental problems. In reality, humans could go on trashing the planet indefinitely and nothing would ever come of it, but thy wouldn’t facilitate our evil schemes of world domination. We thought we had you fooled, but not you Peter, you saw through our cunning and deceit. The world needs you Peter, you’re the only one who can save them from… Bob Broooowwwn our satanic leader mwahahaahahaha!!!

          • Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

            You are not even being rational, or honest. You are certainly not well-informed.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Ah, yes, and if you looked at this picture and said – look, only two cars, what a joke.LOL. A few years later, all the horses were gone.

          • Stephen Pinel 4 years ago

            Funnily enough, in places like New York, horses were banned because of the pollution they caused.

            Replacing coal with renewables isn’t quite as simple or cheap as nakedchimp suggests, but it’s certainly feasible. It does seem nuts to spend tax payers money on a new coal mine.

          • Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

            Giles, I fear that observation will be lost on Peter

          • peter 4 years ago

            Giles, that picture of New York is most appropriate. The horses were the renewable energy vehicles of their era. When replaced with internal combustion engines burning fossil fuels, they not only supercharged the US economy towards today’s general prosperity but they did it without any subsidy from the taxpayer unlike renewables. There was no need for penalties, high taxes or biased regulation, unlike the push for renewables. People chose and liked cars over horses without being lectured to by people like yourself. And people still prefer cars over renewable options in spite of the tirade of abuse from old greenies such as yourself. thanks Giles, well done!

          • Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

            Peter, the pity of it is that you don’t recognise you are comparing new technologies with very old established ones. Of course the new, renewables will take time to usurp the old, government funded generators but as much as you want to deny it, it will happen. You may wish it wasn’t so and bend over backwards to pretend it won’t happen but you will be going against history and technological development.

          • peter 4 years ago

            Blair, wind power is a technology OLDER than coal powered electricity. The first electric generators were on windmills. Modern high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal power stations are high tech power units that are clean and private funded. One 2gW plant in China produces as much power as 6,500 large wind towers, reliably 24 hrs per day, not just when the wind blows. And the coal plant can be sited on a few hectares unlike the windfarm which would need to cover a huge area, half the size of the greater city of Sydney total urban spread. Solar farms are too big a joke to bother commenting. Even at 100% efficiency (unachievable) renewables would not be able to provide all the world’s electricity needs, let alone fly airplanes and drive trucks and tractors everywhere. Keep dreaming pal.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            HELO coal power stations clean? They will still emit around 700g/kWh when they come into regular use, which the IEA still estimates at 10-15 years away.

          • Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

            Coal-fired power stations are anything but clean. You are denying very testable facts. You’re also ignoring the fact that when coal-fired power generators breakdown, it knocks a large chunk of generating capacity off-line. Not the case when a single wind turbine goes off-line. But in any case, you’re setting up a false dichotomy with your nonsense arguments and opposition.

            Renewables won’t and cannot replace coal-fired generation overnight but they will eventually replace it. You really need to come to terms with that fact.

            It’s irrelevant that a wind farm occupies a large area. You evidently haven’t bothered to go and see one in operation. There are three near where I live. Unlike an open cut coal mine, farming operations can still continue with some additional benefit for the farmer with access tracks and some protection for livestock.

            I don’t notice anybody saying some fossil fuels would be required for transport – but again, you’re simply trying to confuse the issue to justify your nonsensical arguments.

          • Adrian Deville 4 years ago

            Fossil fuels WERE progress, with a bunch of ‘positives’ at the time – we can all acknowledge that. But now, as 95% of serious specialist scientists are telling us (not vested interests dressed up as progress), there are a bunch of negatives that we have to address. Not to mention the health related effects of coal dust, water pollution etc etc… How can anti-CO2 be linked with Anti-progress? The number of insanely clever people out there making progress with BETTER technology, cannot be anti-progress. We have some problems, we make progress to address them with better technology. Coal is becoming exposed to competition and the market will kick its ass, especially when all the ‘externalities’ associated with it are exposed fully. Sure there are people still trying to ship it offshore before the window totally closes, but that is not because renewables are idiotic. That’s cos they want to sell it while they can. As for the Scotland example – there is no very pretty major power generation technology, is there? wind turbines can be pulled down when better smaller solutions exist. ie it’s reversible, unlike nuke waste, climate change and all its related effects… As for subsidies: $10 billion to the fossil fuel industry/year from the Oz taxpayer is what we currently already do.

          • peter 4 years ago

            “as 95% of serious specialist scientists are telling us” What happened to 97% of scientists, Adrian? LOL The number is obviously decreasing. This is ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ stuff. There is nothing wrong with CO2 – it’s plant food. No science exists to prove it drives climate, it’s all hypothetical. Nothing is kicking coal’s ass, except too much coal available on the market. The amount of coal burnt as fuel in the world will keep on increasing to at least 2030 on present estimates. Wind turbines can be pulled down, before they fall down or explode as I have seen on video, but they leave their concrete bases in the ground for ever. Coal subsidies, in Australia, are purely diesel excise rebates – available to farmers as well. They pale into insignificance against all the subsidies provided to renewables.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Co2 plant food. I think we’ve had enough. Thanks for your contribution, think you better concentrate on your work at the health faculty.

          • Brunel 4 years ago

            Could you block Andy G from commenting further. He obviously loves pollution or is a troll.

          • Suburbable 4 years ago

            We need the Andys and Peters to stimulate discussion. Every so often they will (probably accidentally) make a worthwhile point that can be answered.

          • Brunel 4 years ago

            Discussion = how can we shut down the coal power stations in Vic.

            Andy G = coal is great!

          • Adrian Deville 4 years ago

            Thanks Peter for the response. I won’t argue with you about the 95% or the concrete in the ground, or the implications of either of these observations. Life is too short. The plant food thing – have you really thought this one through? And what about all the non-CO2 pollution in the picture?

            “No science exists to prove it [CO2] drives climate”… I’m not sure that it “drives climate”, but it sure plays a role. Which part of science does not use hypothesis? You hypothesise, you gather data in the real world and check that theory and move it forward. etc etc, You model, you predict. Knowledge is like that, particularly when there are many uncertainties and even indeterminacies. We all work with it in our daily lives too – we have to. But most of us who do not
            know more than the collective of relevant scientists are happy to let them
            do their hypothesizing, modelling and other necessary work and gladly seek their collective wisdom to point
            humanity in the direction that seems best for all. Unless of course we have a vested interest that is contrary to what those people are saying. That seems to be the pattern. So making throwaways about there being no science relating to excessive CO2 and cllimate, and hoping others will conclude with you that there is no problem related to fossil fuels, you need to be a whole lot more convincing that you are smarter than a whole lot people that collectively are way more informed than you (or I). Otherwise, it just looks like you have a vested interest in a certain way of producing energy and will say irrational things to further that. That may not be true, but it is how it looks.

            The wealth and power of many old school power magnates is dwindling, becoming trapped in old school business models where
            no-one complained about a bit of pollution here or there… But they see a
            changing world and many of their assets are becoming problematic if
            they cannot sell them. Why is too much coal available? Why isn’t it
            selling? Things are changing and renewables are starting to bite in this

            You are right about the diesel subsidies at $10 bill in Australia, thanks. Did you read what the IMF said recently about fossil fuel subsidies world wide ( I’m not sure how that compares with the worldwide subsidies for renewables. But subsidies do exist at staggering levels for fossil fuels already ($10m a minute every day!). It is not like FFs stand alone as the only true economic solution to our energy needs and that we should therefore have some economic rationalist’s morality about it. And this is before considering external costs… If subsidies ARE needed to change/transition energy generating technology, think of it as a sensible temporary prescription of a nicotine patch to stop smoking. Unless of course you never want to stop because you feel there is no scientific evidence of the harm from smoking – just hypothesis.

          • Blair Donaldson 4 years ago

            I can’t help but wonder if “Peter” is the resident fossil fuel troll for this article?

          • Suburbable 4 years ago

            The main reason everyone is suffering is that the fossil fuel heads are trying to claw a few more bucks out of a dying system. They know they are on the way out and are maximising their last revenue streams before they go. Unfortunately, they are capable of enormous damage begore they go.

            Just one question about your reply…how do a coal mines and smoke belching power stations add to an areas beauty and tourism?
            I’ve seen both and reckon they’reca disgusting sight.

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            “Just build the renewables bridge and Get.Over.It.”
            Mate, it would be lucky to stand long enough.. The only thing holding it up is subsidies from taxes from people who actually work for a living.

          • Suburbable 4 years ago

            Thats right, Andy. The only thing holding renewables up is subsidies. The subsidies paid to the fossil fuels industry that is.

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            Hey John, I hope you had shares in SunEdison 😉

          • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

            Best to stop responding to those who are trying to get a rise out of us.

          • Suburbable 4 years ago

            Well said. The poor will, however, remain poor because poverty is a relative thing. Until we redefine growth and poverty there will always remain poor people. It’s a bad thing thay anyone has to suffer in this day and age when we have the soutions at our fingertips but are hampered by the need to keep the market free.

        • nakedChimp 4 years ago

          I live up there and the last thing we need is a coal fired power station.
          In July the power prices will rise another 10% for commercial users.. I’d suggest to get some solar installed.. both TVS and CNS have so many commercial roofs which could supply more than enough power.
          Together with some wind from the Tablelands and surrounding area we could run 100% RE and would have plenty of jobs to go on.
          Then get a CSP going for filling the blanks and we should be good to go.

          • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

            Don’t feed the trolls.

  11. Gyrogordini 4 years ago

    Oh dear, oh dear, what can the matter be? This is so stupendously ridiculous, that it is beyond belief. I would venture that I am speechless, but it appears I am beyond that. Sorry, everyone, nothing to see here, move on…

  12. Abel Adamski 4 years ago

    I hear him speak “This sciency stuff makes my Liberal head hurt, all that thinking.”

    Meanwhile the alternatives keep popping up, just not from our dumb Australian Old School club corporate sector

    Wave power generator with NO MOVING parts

    And these dumb schmucks want to build a Coal Generator

  13. Andy G 4 years ago


    • Agatha Trunchbull 4 years ago

      Hey Andy, “greenie” technologies like wind and solar will beat fossil fuels and there is nothing you can do about it.

    • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

      Why don’t you go and share it with someone who cares what you think.

  14. Andy G 4 years ago

    Google “”
    The future of Australia as a thriving industrial country
    Greenies.. get the F*** out of the way.

    • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

      More and more desperate, now you’re just proving you can’t spell.

  15. Andy G 4 years ago

    Greens.. the ANTI-PROGRESS party
    Holding back Australia development.
    Thriving on the welfare cheque earned from REAL workers.

    • John McKeon 4 years ago

      OLD KING COAL: ANTI-PROGRESS … Holding back Australia development.
      Thriving on the corporate welfare cheque, earned from REAL workers. Just.Look.In.The.Mirror.

      • Andy G 4 years ago

        Yo Greenie dude… just keep stunting Australian development.
        Eventually your Union/ALP mates will wake up to the fact that you are destroying their earning prospects.
        Then where will you be. 😉

        • John McKeon 4 years ago

          Andy G, I’ll forgive your silly negative hyperbole if you have a solar hot water system and/or solar PV panels on your roof.

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            Like most far-left fools, you see sensible comments as a negative.

          • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

            Go away Troll!

          • Andy G 4 years ago

            Did you know there has been NO WARMING in Australia this century.
            Or do facts hurt you.?

          • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

            How would I ‘know’ this? I’ve never heard, seen, or smelled anything remotely like this, and I’ve been following the climate debate for the last 30 years.

          • solarguy 4 years ago

            How much for a kilo of what your smoking, it’s obviously bloody good! Or are you just a very stupid man, that knows nothing of facts and truth.

    • Steve159 4 years ago

      “Holding back Australia development.”

      If, instead of backing your way into the future, dragging the past (old-technologies) behind you, you were to trun around and look to the future, you would see the renewable sector offers grand opportunities for new industries, clean air, jobs and weath.

      This is not mere conjecture — elsewhere in the world, the renewable sector is already employing more people than the fossil fuel sector.

      • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

        Don’t bother trying to have a sane and reasonable discussion with that one. Just a troll.

        • Steve159 4 years ago

          It seems to me, judging by his comments, he’s angry, probably having lost his coal-mining job. That being the case, he needs help to recognise new opportunities abound, were he to change his focus.

          • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

            You may be right but also coming our with all the old and discredited BS about “lifting the poor out of poverty with coal” etc

          • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

            He’s probably also well trained and experienced, could easily transfer his skills into clean industries. Although, as the Chinese put it, ideology is a big obstacle.

          • shinytop 4 years ago

            Ideology is a massive hurdle, but, in reading his vitriol against progressive measures and singling out the greens I suspect he is more than likely one of Abeet’s financed trolls.

            His rants may also be useful information for members of the public who are not fully aware of the far right mentality, so share this article far and wide, a few more nails for the coffin of the wrecking ball party in charge.

  16. Andy G 4 years ago

    Hey, perhaps we could chop down our forests like the USA is , and send the wood pellets over to the UK to power their electricity.
    Sounds like a bonza idea. The green agenda, writ large.

    • John McKeon 4 years ago

      Hell hath no fury like a fossil spurned …

      • Andy G 4 years ago

        Not fury.. just laughing at your HYPOCRICY.
        Still using coal power to operate your oil manufactured computer.
        So funny ! 🙂
        Do you drive an SUV as well ?

        • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

          Mine is solar powered. Wake up Andy, you’re falling further behind at every turn-bull.

    • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

      Wake up Andy, we did that 100 years ago. Didn’t you know the roads of England were paved with Australian forest timbers?
      You might need to do a refresher on last century before you burst your bubble on the 21st.

  17. Brunel 4 years ago

    How corrupt can the Aussie Tories get with their coal-loving nonsense!

    I am actually glad to see AUS ranked below UK in the corruption ranking.

    Because the reality should be reflected in the index.

  18. Biologyteacher100 4 years ago

    In this age of accelerating climate change, it’s crazing to build coal fired plants. Wake up Australia! Wind and solar are even better sources of jobs.

  19. Marcus 4 years ago

    Yes I watched Q and A last night .
    Hewson is always good value, would have been a great PM
    Member for Herbert is well intentioned but ill informed. He is happy to cook the reef with coal. 69 000 jobs depend on the reef vs 1400 FIFO at Adani mine at best!

    A recent multi MW contract for power in India went to solar at 3.4 rupee per kWh, yes that’s rupees! Thermal coal is so over, the walking dead of electricity generation, still capable of huge danger and damage, but zombies nevertheless.

    • John Saint-Smith 4 years ago

      What an irony that Hewson seems more attuned to Australia’s future than the State and Federal Labor Parties that shuffled him off the political stage.
      A shocking alternative must be supported in order to wake these trogs up. Vote Green, vote independent, vote anyone in except the old fossil fuelled parties.

    • Ali Pockley 4 years ago

      John Hewson will be talking in Yackandandah on Saturday, 23rd April as a fundraiser for Totally Renewable Yackandandah’s Perpetual Energy Fund. Come and see him if you’re not too far away. http://www.trybooking/184691. We would love to see as many people as we possibly can. We also have Shane Howard of Goanna fame with Sal Kimber.

  20. Smurf1976 4 years ago

    If were actually short on power then there *might* be some argument for it. Obviously there’s alternatives to consider as well, but at least there would be a valid point about the need for a power source of whatever type.

    As it happens though we’re not short on power, the reverse is true, which makes the whole idea outright ridiculous.

  21. Matt Grantham 4 years ago

    A bit old but still relevant given the debate. This was published on climate spectator about 18 months ago

    Sorry Andy but all your ranting and raving about leftist anti development greenies will not convince the bankers to set fire to their money in support of the project.

  22. Darrell Anthony 4 years ago

    Maybe we could use the clean energy fund to pay for all the coal workers put out of a job. Just use the fund to pay their housing, medical, retirement, kids school and college education, utilities, netflix. I guess they would be happy to be with their families all day watching movies instead of having a job.

  23. Ian 4 years ago

    Don’t get your nickers in a knot people. Listen to what Ewan Jones is saying. He is decoding some of the liberal’s rhetoric . The apparent crazy talk about using the clean energy finance corporation funds to build a coal powered station is not contradictory in Jones’ eyes. It reflects his understanding of that agency and it has nothing to do with solar or wind power. Infrastructure development fund does not mean funding infrastructure for the future of Queensland’s prosperity but property development for sale to the highest bidder. Direct action has nothing to do with funding the transition to renewables its a huge blank cheque to spend on whatever takes your fancy if you are a decision maker. It bypasses the electorate and other annoying people that get in your way.

    Turnbull has used similar soothing phrases to say one thing and very validly mean something very different.

  24. Hugh M 4 years ago

    I’m all for saying “no more coal power stations!” but reading carefully what MP Ewen Jones said on Q&A transcript – he does not mention coal 1.2GW and implies renewales! Shouldn’t we be applauding a Liberal politician suggesting development of 1.2GW of renewable power generation?!?

    “develop a power plant or power station of 1.2 gigawatts … That can build the poles and wires, which will be a saleable asset to bring that power to the national energy market and what that will also do is be the catalytic event to open up the renewable energy precinct throughout the Kennedy electorate along the Flinders Highway. It is the best renewable energy precinct in the history of Australia. ” MP Ewen Jones Q&A 18/04/2016

    • Giles 4 years ago

      Nice try Hugh, but why don’t we fill in the dots in the quote you conveniently left out … “and make it a super-efficient or an ultra-efficient, ultra-critical power plant” …. there is only one type of technology that dubs itself “super-efficient, ultra efficient and ultra critical, and that is coal. There is no doubt this is what he was talking about, and it is not the first time he has promoted it.

      • Hugh M 4 years ago

        sorry, it wasn’t meant to be convenient – just trying to skip to the bit where he refers to “renewable energy” twice in the context of this area (which you conveniently ignored in your article 😉 ).
        Why don’t we misinterpret his implication and publish articles “Coalition MP Pushes 1.2GW Renewable Plant for Townsville”??

        • Giles 4 years ago

          Er, because he is not pushing a 1.2GW renewable plant for townsville. He is trying to justify a 1.2GW coal plant by saying that the grid connection would help connect renewables. But to unlock renewables, you need to have the transmission line going inland, not to a 1.2GW coal plant near Townsville. That transmission line for the coal plant already exists. An inland transmission line for renewables was proposed a few years ago, the Copperstring, but Jones and others in the Coalition fought against that.

      • Hugh M 4 years ago

        can solar thermal operate at temperatures and pressures above the critical point of water?

  25. Suburbable 4 years ago

    I’ve said it many times since these fools got elected – they are out to cripple Australia so that we need to go further into debt in order to keep the nation going. World Bank kind of debt.I think they are engineering a situation where we follow the other great disasters in free market economics down the gurgler. The LNP are willing stooges for the gods of the free market.

    The fact that they are still flogging coal and supporting the Charmichael mine shows that they have no intention of listening to citizens concerns.

    This article shows that LNP haven’t genuinely listened to global concerns either. It is a classic example of their thinking: build a coal fired power plant to supply power to a mine that is unfeasible and unwanted. Then they can use the power plant as a reason to dig from the mine so that the mine looks more feasible because it has a local customer.Then shift externalities to the public sector and we will have to clean up the mess through levies and perhaps a rise in the GST.

    It all makes sense in a funny kind of way.

  26. Reality Bites 4 years ago

    And MP Ewan Jones is the Mister for what…? Nothing, so it is just the ignorant mumblings of a regional member without foundation! If Greg Hunt comes out in support you might have an article Giles otherwise it is just alarmist scuttlebutt.

    • Giles 4 years ago

      “Ignorant ramblings of a regional member without foundation?” But RB, this is the man the Coalition put forward to represent it on Q&A. And Jones is considered something of a moderate, at least compared to likes of Christenson. And besides, Abbott supported the very same idea, only at 800MW. I guess the story is they still thinking about it, and want an even bigger coal plant>

  27. BeyondZeroEmissions 4 years ago

    People are finding our numbers on the Australian renewables potential, and what they mean in the new renewable energy era, to be quite exciting and illuminating …

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