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Estimates: Questions about public ownership of energy in Queensland

During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Tuesday 10 August 2021, I asked about the proportion of publicly owned energy in Queensland, and the Government's commitment to only maintain 50% public ownership. 

You can read the answer below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: I have a question first of all to the DG. Last estimates the minister confirmed that government policy is to maintain majority public ownership in the electricity generation sector as we transition to clean energy. It was confirmed that the current percentage of public ownership in December last year was 65.7 per cent. First of all, can you give us an updated figure? What is the current percentage of public ownership?

Mr Purtill: When we were asked last year it was 65.7. It was based the 2019-20 year. The value related to the percentage of energy produced as opposed to nameplate generation capacity. In 2020-21 the figure was 66 per cent, so effectively the same.

Mr BERKMAN: Is that a comparable figure given the differentiation between nameplate value and actual generation?

Mr Purtill: They are. They are both based on gigawatt hours of generation for the period.

Mr BERKMAN: Can I just confirm that the policy will only prevent that percentage of public ownership dropping below 50 per cent; is that correct?

CHAIR: That is more of a policy question. You might have to go to the minister. Director-General, you can answer that as best you can.

Mr Purtill: Chair, I think your guidance is appropriate. I think it is a question for the minister.

CHAIR: It is a policy question. It is best referred to the minister. Bearing in mind the time, if you want to ask another question of the director-general and not the minister.

Mr BERKMAN: Yes, I am keen to ask another question. I am happy to move on unless the minister has a very quick response.

Mr de BRENNI: Our commitment is on the public record to maintain majority public ownership of generation in Queensland. The response that the director-general gave in respect of the level of generation that has remained publicly owned—at 66 per cent—is the same as last year. If the member has been listening to the previous questions, the significant investment through the Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund will continue to support publicly owned renewables. We certainly have a policy, in stark contrast to the LNP, where we will not be selling those assets.

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