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Thursday, 13 February 2020
Page: 1262


Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaAssistant Minister for Children and Families and Assistant Minister for Northern Australia) (10:15): I wish to take this opportunity to speak about an important and promising energy project that the Australian government is supporting in Capricornia. It is Shine Energy's high-energy, low-emissions coal plant in Collinsville. At the moment, we have people in Australia up in arms over the prospect of a new coal-fired power station being built. But there is a story of the people of Collinsville and the traditional landowners that is either not being told or simply being ignored because it doesn't fit the predetermined narrative the inner-city elite already have in their minds.

For my parliamentary colleagues, Collinsville is located about 1,300 kilometres north of Brisbane and 87 kilometres south-west of Bowen. It's smack-bang in the middle of coal country. Over the years, Collinsville has seen its fair share—and I would argue more than its fair share—of economic downturn and decline in population. Shine Energy have a very simple ethos that underpins everything they do. They want the same opportunities that are given to other energy companies to use the land they have lived on for thousands of years to create prosperity for their own people. It's a simple goal when read on paper but harder in its execution, given the current political climate for coal projects. They want to work towards economic prosperity and positive social outcomes for their own people by working together to reach a collective goal. But the people who oppose this power station are getting in the way of that. The coal-fired power station would deliver 2,000 jobs during construction and 600 in operation, with a significant focus on Indigenous employment.

I must also take this opportunity to commend the CEO of Shine Energy, Ashley Dodd, for his ongoing commitment, professionalism and passion to get this project up and going. In conclusion, I wish to say this as clearly as possible: I want a coal-fired power station in Collinsville. I urge anyone who doesn't support this project to look Ashley Dodd and the people of the Birri nation in the eye and tell them why they don't deserve this project. Shine Energy's coal project is more than worthy of bringing new life and new industry into the area. New and reliable energy generation in Central and North Queensland is vital to drive down prices and bolster system strength. We want it to deliver reliable and affordable power to commercial consumers in North Queensland. We want it delivered to secure long-term jobs for our children's future and we want it to deliver prosperity and security for the traditional landowners of the Birri nation so they have better opportunities to live and thrive.