Trad demands $1b from ScoMo to slash our power bills

QUEENSLAND has demanded $1 billion from the federal Government to help it build renewable energy projects across the state to bring down power bills.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison requesting the money be repurposed from the "underperforming" Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund after the Commonwealth sewed up a generous energy deal with NSW last week.

She said providing the money would lower energy costs, create jobs and reduce emissions and strengthen the reliability of the east coast power grid, through which southern states currently buy up power from Queensland.

Ms Trad said Queensland already had a strong gas industry and was investing in renewables through its government-owned Clean Co as it worked towards its commitment of 50/50 renewables by 2020.

Financial support is also promised for a new pilot renewable energy zone so large-scale renewable generators can pump energy into the grid.
Financial support is also promised for a new pilot renewable energy zone so large-scale renewable generators can pump energy into the grid.

"To leverage our existing programs, the Queensland Government is seeking an allocation of funding of $1 billion from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, and for it to be provided as a renewable energy grant on the same terms as that provided to New South Wales," her letter says.

"Barely $2 billion of the $5 billion facility has been notionally allocated (with most of that $2 billion still subject to finalisation of agreements and/or financial close)."

It follows a landmark deal between the federal and NSW governments that will see more than $2 billion invested in gas, renewable energy and energy infrastructure in exchange for NSW pumping an additional 70 petajoules of gas into the east coast market.

Financial support is also promised for a new pilot renewable energy zone so large-scale renewable generators can pump energy into the grid.

Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad is seeking $1 billion from the federal government for renewables. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad is seeking $1 billion from the federal government for renewables. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

It's the first in a series of state bilateral energy agreements between the Commonwealth and states and territories.

Penning a letter today, Ms Trad said there was a long history of unfair favouritism between NSW and Queensland.

"The Morrison Government gives New South Wales 80 per cent of the funding for the Pacific Highway as it stretches along the New South Wales Coast," she writes.

"As soon as that highway touches the Queensland border, the Morrison Government cuts its share of funding to just 50 per cent.

"The Federal LNP gives billions of dollars to new public transport projects in Sydney - but not Brisbane."