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Costo’s Collinsville power station promise questioned

By Ray White Whitsunday

AN AMBITIOUS plan to inject $400 million into an energy project at Collinsville has been called out by Member for Burdekin Dale Last.

On Monday NQ First Party leader Jason Costigan announced the plan to inject $400 million into a new Collinsville power station, as part of his $1 billion Powering the North project.

Member for Burdekin, Dale Last has called out Mr Costigan’s proposal, saying there was “no way” the Collinsville Power Station could be “refired”, and claimed he was “clutching at straws for credibility”.

Mr Last said that Mr Costigan’s announcement was “more about his political sideshow than people” and that the Member for Whitsundays funding promises were “worthless”.

“It’s very clear that Jason Costigan has no idea what is happening with the Collinsville Power Station and it’s even more clear he can’t do simple maths,” he said.

“The old Collinsville Power Station has been gutted and there is no way it can be returned to use in its current form.”

Mr Costigan said the proposal was for a new, high efficiency, low emissions coal-fired power station at Collinsville and not the reinstatement of the old station.

“No one is suggesting that,” he said.

“Yeah we stood outside the old plant for a photograph, to promote our policy and our program.

“It’s about supporting reliable and affordable power for everyone. Everyone is hurting and no one is doing anything about it.”

Mr Last however, said the LNP had been investigating the “longer term” feasibility of a new station, and said the last thing the community needed was to have to shut down another station.

“The reason that the federal LNP government funded a study into the Collinsville Power Station is simple. We want to develop a new power station to its maximum capability to create more jobs and to ensure its operation for the longer term,” he said.

“As far back as February I called for an investigation into whether the new plant can operate as a hybrid station to use natural gas and coal and that investigation is well underway.

“The last thing we need is to see the station open and then close again like we have seen before.”

Mr Last also questioned Mr Costigans maths, saying there were “massive black holes” in his $6 billion Real Royalties for Regions program.

“Jason Costigan keeps talking about $6 Billion dollars of royalties to spend but the problem is that there actually isn’t $6 Billion,” he said.

“There is a massive black hole in Jason’s maths and he either needs to admit he got it wrong or he needs to tell people how he’s going to fill that black hole.

“Is Jason Costigan calling for an increase in royalties that will put mining jobs at risk or is he going to cut services?

“By making these outlandish commitments he is giving people false hope and making a mockery of our resource sector and everyone who works in the mining industry.”

Mr Costigan said there was “no sneaky business” and he would not be increasing or putting jobs at risk.

Mr Costigan said his $6 billion plan was spaced over four years and said the key focus was the “quarantining” of funds over the time period.

“The money comes into the treasury every year and we want to quarantine the money, the $6 billion, over four years,” he said.

“If NQ First secures the balance of power, we will demand the premier and the treasury agree to our terms and that includes the quarantining of that $6 billion, over four years, for north, far north and central Queensland.”

Source: Whitsunday Times

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