Qld solar power plant on hold

A proposed renewable energy power plant is in doubt with the Liberal National Party set to dismantle Queensland’s carbon reduction schemes to save money.

New Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he would halt $75 million in state funding for the solar thermal power plant if he could do it without risk to taxpayers.

The $1 billion Solar Dawn project near Chinchilla is part of the Federal Government’s Solar Flagship Program.

Its $464 million contribution is now in doubt after Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said his government had to reconsider its position.

“If the new Queensland Government chose to breach the existing financial commitment to the Solar Dawn project, the Australian Government would naturally need to consider its own position,” he said.

Solar Dawn operators said they signed a conditional agreement with the Queensland Government and had not been notified of any change of intentions and were continued to work on developing the project.

Mr Newman said he was seeking legal advice on withdrawing the state funds.

Solar Dawn operators said the project would result in an average of 300 jobs during its three-year construction with a peak of 450 jobs.