The Greens have announced a plan to build publicly owned solar panel, wind turbine and green steel manufacturing plants in Townsville, Rockhampton and Gladstone, laying the foundations for a revived Queensland manufacturing industry capable of producing 19,500 jobs a year.
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“Queensland has some of the best conditions for solar and wind generation in the world, so it’s crazy we aren’t manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels right here in Queensland.
“Every time you hear about a new renewable energy project, or put solar panels on your roof, I’m sure every Queenslander would prefer those solar panels or wind turbines were manufactured in Queensland creating good Queensland jobs.
“The COVID-19 crisis has reminded us that Labor and the LNP made a massive mistake allowing our manufacturing capacity to be sent offshore.
“These three major factories would lay the foundation for flourishing private industries by establishing stable commercial supply chains, creating a skilled workforce and reducing costs, while ensuring the public retain some of the benefit of these new industries.
“From mining the minerals in the ground to smelting steel and aluminium, to manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines, Queensland could become the world leader in a thriving advanced green manufacturing economy, creating tens of thousands of jobs along the way.
“The Grattan institute has predicted that if Queensland properly lays the foundations now, we could have a $40 billion green steel export industry operating out of Gladstone, creating 15,000 good, secure jobs a year.
“Queensland can manufacture the steel, solar panels and wind turbines that power not just Queensland and Australia, but the world.”
The Greens’ plan for public manufacturing in Queensland:
- Establish a publicly owned solar panel factory in Townsville, operational by 2023 and capable of manufacturing up to 1 million solar panels a year - creating 1,100 jobs per year.
- Establish a publicly owned wind turbine factory in Rockhampton with a capacity to manufacture 250MW of wind turbine capacity per year from 2023 - or 100 wind turbines a year - creating 425 jobs a year.
- Aim for a further 1000MW of private solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing capacity by 2027, creating a further 3000 jobs
- Phase in a local content requirement mandating that 60% of all utility scale solar and wind projects to be sourced from Queensland manufacturers by 2027.
- Invest $500 million to build a flagship green steel factory in Gladstone to be operational by 2025. The flagship factory would not operate commercially but instead run to establish the crucial skills and expertise needed for a new green steel industry in Central Queensland with a long term aim of 15,000 jobs a year.
- Establish a Queensland Manufacturing Authority with $1 billion in seed funding to provide grants and cheap loans to help new manufacturing businesses get off the ground.