David Crisafulli
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli

June 13, 2024

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has promised to scrap a controversial pumped hydro project in Central Queensland but the LNP has not ruled out similar, smaller projects.

He described the Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro scheme – proposed for the Pioneer Valley 75km west of Mackay – as a “multi-billion dollar fantasy” which would inevitably lead to higher power prices for consumers.

“In its place, we will embark on a long-term plan which will provide alternative storage options to this unachievable project,”  Mr Crisafulli told State Parliament during his Budget Reply speech on Thursday.

“The LNP will investigate opportunities for smaller, more manageable pumped hydro projects.

“We will bring in laws to ensure all projects are treated equally.

“While regional Queensland, to this government, is just a media backdrop for announcements that eventually join a growing list of unkept promises, regional Queenslanders will know that a government I lead will have their backs as we work together to preserve the jobs we have (and) create more jobs in the future in our regional communities.

“No special treatment will be given in relation to planning and environmental approvals.

“That process will start with a thorough examination of the costings and planning for the government’s pumped hydro project at Borumba during Estimates.

(The State Government’s Budget Estimates hearings are scheduled to begin next month.)

“Whether it is a farming project, a residential project or a renewable project, the same standards have to apply,” Mr Crisafulli said.

The Opposition Leader said the LNP would deliver “a solution which will make energy affordable, reliable and sustainable” but did not mention nuclear energy, which has been put forward by Federal Nationals Leader David Littleproud and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton as a key part of Australia’s future energy mix.


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