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Regions send message to governments: Get on with renewables, new industry


Australia may have the wrong idea about regional Queenslanders, according to a detailed report that asked people in the state’s major centres: what do you want?

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The list that came out of the forums looks like a Greens wish-list but report author Amanda Cahill of The Next Economy said that was not how it was framed.

“The surprising thing for me is that there was a big shift in peoples’ acceptance, almost a pragmatism about how we have all this renewable energy now and that’s the way things are going so how do we make the most of it,” she told InQueensland.

“I think people are not anti-coal. That has not changed. It has become a ‘Yes and … ‘ approach, which suggests they are thinking that yes, we have a coal industry and we have renewables and we don’t know what is going to happen in the future so we will take both.”

She said there was also a palpable sense of anger in the regions that they were misunderstood and that there was no interest or desire for renewable energy projects or new industry.

She said the fundamental problem was poor communication, the politicisation of issues and misinformation.

“And people are angry about that. They don’t know who to trust,” she said.

“I even had coal-fired generator managers saying “we need to start managing the closure now’. They are frustrated they are not getting support from government for transition planning.

“They can’t move forward and that’s creating problems with their workforce and community.”

“There is frustration on the ground that these things are happening and it’s not getting the support it needs. There is frustration that regional Queensland is already taking action. That was the biggest push back I got in running the forums. They thought I was implying that nothing was happening.”

The report included a year of consultation with up to 450 people.

Regional forums results:







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