COAL FIRED: Federal MP George Christensen is leading a push to see an ultra-supercritical coal fired power station built in the Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday region.
COAL FIRED: Federal MP George Christensen is leading a push to see an ultra-supercritical coal fired power station built in the Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday region. Andrew Thorpe

Push to create 'clean' coal fired power in Mackay region

CONSTRUCTING a low-emissions coal fired power plant in the greater Mackay region is the type of project John Glanville believes could be worth considering.

On Saturday Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen announced on Facebook he would push to see a coal fired power plant built in the Mackay, Whitsunday, Isaac region, by tapping into the government's $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

The NAIF provides low-interest loans for projects that would boost the economy.

Mr Christensen's call came after Federal Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan suggested that Australia could bridge the transition to renewable energies by building its own ultra-supercritical coal plants, that produce 40% less emissions.

He said countries like Japan and China were already building this type of infrastructure.

However Townsville's leaders rejected the idea, stating it was "10-years too late" and revealed to Federal Government had "no transitional plan" for energy projects of the future.

That's when Mr Christensen wrote on Facebook "Townsville's civic leaders don't want a coal-fired power station built. That's fine. We'll push for one in the greater Mackay/Isaac/Whitsundays region then."

The chairman-elect of the region's new economic development group, the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) , Mr Glanville said he "certainly wouldn't discount the idea".

"I'd need to see the detail. We would look at it's viability and it's impacts, socially, environmentally," he said.

"But we need to look at anything that will create new industry."

He said the first priority for the GW3 would be to come up with ways to grow the population and bring retirees or working people back into houses.

This would require new industry, and he believed finding ways to tap into the NAIF to advance "progressive" projects would be a successful strategy.

The GW3 is expected to be formally launched later this month.

More to come.



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