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Premier tours Energy Capital of Queensland

23 January 2018

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Mark Furner MP and Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, joined Mayor Paul McVeigh and Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith at APA Darling Downs Solar Farm

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Mark Furner MP and Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, joined Mayor Paul McVeigh and Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith at APA Darling Downs Solar Farm

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today toured the Western Downs region to see first-hand the jobs creation at the forefront of the Energy Capital of Queensland.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the visit was a chance to show the region was leading the way in creating real regional jobs for Queensland.

“We are immensely proud of what the Western Downs is contributing to the Queensland economy, and having the Premier out here in the Energy Capital of Queensland is an opportunity for her to see this first hand,” he said.

“The Western Downs has 10 approved solar farms so far, which when combined with the Cooper’s Gap Wind Farm will support a further 3,120 construction jobs in the renewables space and deliver an impressive $5.5 billion in investment.”

The Premier flew into Miles before a site visit to the Darling Downs Solar Farm, the first of ten solar farms under construction, following development approval by the Western Downs Regional Council.

While the Western Downs has cemented a diverse economy across the four pillars of agriculture, intensive agriculture, manufacturing and energy, it was the milestones in the renewables sector that were the order of the day.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government was determined to achieve 50% share of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030, and the pipeline of projects – under construction, planned and proposed – valued at more than $20 billion with the promise of 15,000 construction jobs.

“The renewables sector in the Western Downs is generating jobs, and this can be seen by the unemployment rate of 4.8% – 1% below the State average,” she said.

“The region is already a powerhouse in agricultural production, from beef to cotton and chick peas. Now, renewable energy is adding diversity and strength to the Western Downs economy.”

FAST FACTS

  • The 10 solar farms and Cooper’s Gap wind farm combined will support 3,120 construction jobs, $5.5 billion in investment and 2.41 gigawatts (GW) of installed electricity generation.

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