Lynham: diversify or die

Gene Oiwes pumped storage hydro project

Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham warned the Queensland energy sector needed to ‘diversify or die’ in a speech to the TJ Ryan foundation.

In the ‘Jobs for the Future’ symposium, Dr Lynham said the transition to renewable energy was ‘beyond a doubt’.

Citing the Genex Kidston project – a renewable energy plant on the site of an old gold mine in north Queensland – Dr Lynham said it could help transition the state to a post-coal energy future.

The Kidston gold mine hydroelectric project valued at $282 million will use two large abandoned pits to produce hydroelectric energy at night. During the day, a $300 million 150 MW solar farm will produce energy to the region.

Dr Lynham said the downturn in mining was having a material effect on the economy.

“We have a downturn in mining, a terrible downturn in our resources sector. Thank God we don’t have a cycled drop in agriculture at the same time, because Queensland is still (dependent on) agriculture and mining,” he said.

“If we had those two cycles in the bottom trough, we’d be in serious trouble.
“But at the present time, we’ve got resources down and agriculture booming, and tourism booming, so that’s keeping us on a level playing field.

“We can’t get going on those cycles – we have to make sure we have a strong, solid diversified economy.”