Survey sounds death knell for coal power

QUEENSLANDERS overwhelming want the State Government to invest in renewable energy sources, rather than coal-fired power, to meet their electricity needs.

A new survey has revealed almost four out of five Queensland residents would prefer public funds be channelled towards solar, wind and other green energy sources rather than coal.

Conducted for Solar Citizens by pollsters QDOS Research, the survey of more than 1000 voters from across the state is a blow to the campaign for a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland.

Solar Citizens national director Ellen Roberts said the results showed the vast majority of Queenslanders were concerned about climate change and wanted governments to take action.

"The Government should listen to these concerns and pave the way for more renewable energy jobs and investment," Ms Roberts said.

"Building a new coal-fired power station in Queensland would require extensive government subsidies and it's clear that the majority of Queenslanders don't support the idea."

The Federal Government has tipped $4 million into a feasibility study for a Collinsville-based 1000MW coal-fired power station.

However state Energy Minister Anthony Lynham has insisted no analysis had shown Queensland needed new coal generation and has expressed concerns that the federal study assumed existing plants would close.

The results showed 78 per cent of respondents preferred public funds being funnelled into renewables over coal, including 65 per cent of LNP voters.

Asked whether Queensland should move away from polluting energy sources and generate more electricity from renewables, 62 per cent of people agreed or strongly agreed.

Seventy per cent of respondents indicated they were concerned about climate change while 18 per cent did not believing burning coal contributed to global warming.

The poll also showed the LNP ahead of Labor on primary support 29 per cent to 27 per cent, although 22 per cent of people were undecided

Ms Roberts insisted the poll was a wake-up call to politicians ahead of the October 31 state election.

"Queenslanders clearly support more investment in clean energy projects and if governments take action now it will boost the struggling economy," she said.

"Renewables can unlock the energy trifecta for Queenslanders: lower bills, less pollution and more regional employment."




Originally published as Survey sounds death knell for coal power