In addition to the dismantling of carbon reduction schemes, Premier Campbell Newman has come forward with new plans that will see work on the state’s $1 billion thermal power plant project halted in order to save up to $270 million of the state budget.
The Solar Dawn project, which was expected to be partially funded by the federal government, may now lose federal support.
“If the new Queensland government chose to breach the existing financial commitment to the Solar Dawn project, the Australian government would naturally need to consider its own position,” says federal Resource Minister Martin Ferguson.
However, the operators of the project in question have stated they have not been informed of any changes to development plans and will continue working as they have throughout the process.
“Solar Dawn has not been notified of any change of intentions of the Queensland government under the terms of the existing conditional agreement and we continue to work with relevant parties on developing our proposed project,” say Solar Dawn operators.
The thermal energy plant has been expected to create 300 to 450 jobs throughout its construction period of three years. This is, however, not enough to persuade Newman of its value in the short term and he said he will continue working to pull the state funding of $75 million for the project in a way that will not harm taxpayers.
“We’re not going to, in some silly way, cancel a contract that ends up costing taxpayers money in some sort of penalty,” says Newman.
However, the premier is committed to honouring the federal government’s plans if they push for the project to continue in its development.