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Queensland council pushes for coal plant reopening

World Coal,

North Queensland's Whitsunday Council is urging state election candidates to consider reopening the 190 MW coal-fired Collinsville power plant to serve proposed mining developments in the Galilee Basin, rather than pursuing the state government's proposed multi-fuel Moray Project power plant, ABC Online reported. 

Mayor Jenny Whitney said Collinsville would be welcomed by the local community and provide a better option than the greenfields Moray Project, which would likely rely on coal from the Galilee and would not be connected to the grid. 

"Why are people looking at establishing new greenfield sites when we've already got a site established that can be hopefully, with discussions with owners and proponents, established and help deliver not just what the Moray power station is but much greater value by providing baseload power for north Queensland," Whitney said.

Greens candidate for the Mackay region, Jonathon Dykyj, said he would push the new government to adopt renewable energy projects, saying the coal industry was not sustainable: "We're going to need boilermakers and electricians and engineers to repower our state and our region through renewable energy, so there's a lot of transferrable skills there – long-term, well-paying, meaningful jobs that aren't linked to the global coal market."

Dykyj said that investing in renewable energy would create “plenty” of jobs in R&D, design, manufacturing and implementation of low-carbon energy projects.

However, Whitney also stressed that it would be better for everyone if the Queensland government prioritised the Collinsville power plant.

"It obviously would create jobs. It also gives value to what's there and I think it's got the potential as a site for growth," she said. "It's not having to do the hard yards and get set up and established. It's something that's been accepted by the Collinsville community for some time.”

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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