David Littleproud has slammed plans to build the world’s largest hydro power plant in Queensland, saying it would tear down rainforests and cause “irreversible damage” to local wildlife.
The Nationals leader joined frustrated protesters outside the state’s parliament to decry the Palaszczuk government’s billion-dollar stake in renewables.
He accused state Labor of joining a “reckless” race to overhaul 82 per cent of Australia’s electricity sources by 2035.
“The Nationals have been attempting to get a senate inquiry into renewables because irreversible damage to Queensland’s rainforest and wildlife is at risk,” Mr Littleproud said.
The $12bn Borumba Pumped Hydro project is expected to be built in 2035 and will power about half of Queensland’s renewable energy sources.
Local landowners expressed their frustrations over plans to build a mega hydro power plant across rainforest territory.
Katy McCallum from the Kilkivan Action Group said the local community “completely objected” to the plans.
“Our major concern is the destruction of our stunning district and irreparable damage to the environment, where so much amazing flora and fauna live,” she said.
“The project has not met its requirements under social licence and nobody in our area wants it.”
Queensland passed legislation in June to commit billions of dollars towards meeting its 70 per cent renewables target by 2023, which included $200 million for wind farm projects.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state was on the “cusp of the biggest renewable energy revolution that our state and our country has ever seen.”
Monday’s protest came after Victorian farmers descended on Melbourne in tractors last week to protest the state’s wind farm electricity plan.
When asked about community pushback in May, climate change minister Chris Bowen said the switch to clean energy would inevitably raise issues.
“When it comes to transmission, social licence is the most important issue we have to face,” Mr Bowen said.
“A near total rebuild of the grid comes with challenges, particularly for the communities where projects will be built.”