Two Queensland Government Ministers are at odds with the progress of the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project, after Budget Estimate developments showed a contradiction of opinion on the hydro scheme in Eungella.
Not only did this year’s State Budget reveal there was no funding allocated for the contentious and environmental-disaster Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro scheme, but Minister Leanne Linard also made a statement in estimates last week that the project would not proceed if the environmental studies didn’t stack up.
“All appropriate approvals will be undertaken… this is a large program and that it will only proceed if appropriate approvals are given for the project.” [Minister Linard, Budget Estimates, 3rd August]
Embarrassingly, Minister Mick de Brenni has attempted to veto Minister Linard’s claims stating the pumped hydro project was still forging ahead.
“[The Pioneer Burdekin Pumped Hydro project] will be operating in accordance to schedule we’ve outlined, subject to approvals.” [Minister de Brenni, Budget Estimates,8th August]
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said State Labor are trying to play Queenslanders for fools by taking both sides of the debate for the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.
“The fact these Ministers can’t be on the same page as each other when it comes to a project that will not only ruin lives but decimate the rainforest wilderness that’s found in the Eungella and Pioneer Valley region is incomprehensible.
“It’s absolute nonsense these Ministers can’t get their story straight. These Minister need to get out of their offices in George Street and up to Central Queensland and see what they’re destroying.
“The conditions a coal mine has to meet takes years. An intense amount of work is undertaken to get the mine off the ground to ensure minimal environmental disruption is caused. Yet, beautiful rainforest wilderness will be decimated because it’s for “cleaner” energy. The sheer hypocrisy is astounding,” Ms Landry said.