Queensland minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni has launched public consultation to collect community feedback on Queensland’s renewable energy zones (QREZ), seeking manufacturers’ input among others.
Support for renewables is a key part of the Queensland government’s plan for economic recovery.
“This will be the first time in the nation that communities will be able to have their say on how renewable projects and energy infrastructure within the QREZ are developed to benefit them, their family and their community,” de Brenni said.
“We will ensure that QREZs are developed in a way that maximises community benefits and economic outcomes. This consultation paper outlines principles for engagement, sharing benefits with communities and delivering local jobs and local procurement in QREZ.
“It seeks to understand what local communities, small business, manufacturers and renewables and hydrogen project developers view as important in the development of Queensland’s renewable energy zones and how to deliver lasting, meaningful benefits for communities and workers,” he said.
“This will ensure community views and genuine local benefits are front and centre in the development process for QREZ.”
Queensland’s renewable energy zones offer massive opportunities, according to Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton.
“The QREZ approach has enormous potential to accelerate renewable energy deployment across regional Queensland and deliver significant jobs and economic opportunities,” Thornton said.
“It’s crucial that the voice of the community is central in getting the design of QREZ right and we welcome this important consultation.”
The public consultation will be followed by a technical paper later in the year, for feedback from industry and other energy stakeholders on the framework for QREZ design and access.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to creating jobs in new and existing decarbonised industries as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan,” de Brenni said.
“To do that we need to deliver them the reliable, affordable and renewable energy to enable more job creation throughout the regions. Our renewable energy zones will do just that.
“It’s likely that the Queensland economy will require three times the current amount of energy in coming decades to ensure we can decarbonise existing industries and grow our economy.”
The online survey is now open, until 30 September 2021.