Labor and the Greens will try to block federal funding for a business case into a proposed new coal-fired power plant in north Queensland.
Labor and the Greens will try to block federal funding for a business case into a proposed new coal-fired power plant in north Queensland.

Labor-Greens threat to $3.3m power station

Labor and the Greens will try to block federal funding for a business case into a proposed new coal-fired power plant in north Queensland.

The Opposition yesterday tabled a notice of motion flagging its intention to disallow a $3.3 million funding injection for a feasibility study into a high-efficiency, low-emissions coal plant at Collinsville, near Townsville.

The Federal Government had framed the potential funding roadblock as a test for Labor's support of jobs and lower power prices in regional Australia.

The Government pledged funding in February but required a green light from parliament.

Senior Queensland LNP parliamentarians seized on Labor's position with Senator Matt Canavan saying the Opposition had once again deserted its working class roots to side with Green activists who oppose coal.

Senator Matt Canavan says Labor has sided with the Greens to oppose coal.
Senator Matt Canavan says Labor has sided with the Greens to oppose coal.

"If Labor won't support coal-fired power stations here, how can you rely on them to support the export of our coal to power stations overseas?" he said.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said mining communities in Queensland would never forget Labor's direct opposition to more long-term jobs in the resources industry.

Opposition northern Australia spokesman Murray Watt said Labor did not support spending taxpayer funds on the slowest and most expensive way of meeting our power needs.

"The LNP needs to spend less time wasting taxpayer money on new coal-fired power stations that will not deliver cheap power and accept Labor's call for a bipartisan energy policy that will deliver real jobs and cheaper power to Queensland and the rest of the country," Senator Watt said.

Senator Murray Watt says the Government should stop wasting taxpayers’ money on new coal-fired power stations.
Senator Murray Watt says the Government should stop wasting taxpayers’ money on new coal-fired power stations.

It was unclear when the motion would come to a vote in the Senate or how the current arrangements that allow Senators to attend remotely but not vote would affect the final numbers.

The Government would likely require support from One Nation and at least one of the three independents to defeat the motion.

Both One Nation senators have remained in Queensland and a spokesman did not respond before deadline.

A spokeswoman for Senator Jacqui Lambie said she was "still looking at it".

Senator Rex Patrick said he was "likely" to support the disallowance motion but would "give the Government the option to provide me with a briefing on the matter".

Senator Sterling Griff did not respond before deadline.



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