Clean coal plan waste of money

Hoping to sell intellectual property rights.
Hoping to sell intellectual property rights. Lisa Martin

QUEENSLAND premier Anna Bligh hopes to one day sell the intellectual property rights to cleaner coal despite $192 million in research failing to find the answer.

The Bligh government pumped $102 million of Queensland taxpayer money into state-owned ZeroGen, a joint State-Commonwealth government and industry-led research project into carbon capture technology for coal-fired power production.

The research was to be the first step in building a $4.3 billion clean coal power station at in 2015 that would be fired-up by 2020.

Ms Bligh said building the carbon capture facility by 2015, as first proposed, was not commercially viable.

She rejected suggestions that she had further wasted Queensland taxpayer money on another failed project. As was reported by The Morning Bulletin last year there were concerns about the viability of the project.

Yesterday Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said the government would have been criticised if it hadn’t tried the project.

“If it had been a winner everyone would have been delighted,” Mr Schwarten said.

Ms Bligh rejected the research was a waste of money.

“There is nothing unusual in this,” Ms Bligh said. “We’re leading the world in this. No one in the world has done a feasibility study on carbon capture.

“I absolutely reject (that) this research was a waste of money.

“The intellectual property is not at a commercially tradeable stage, but it will lead to opportunities in its own right.”

Ms Bligh said Queensland possessed 300 years of coal energy supplies and it was imperative for the government to find a cleaner way to use the natural resource.

She said the Queensland Government had committed another $50 million – and the industry and Commonwealth Government has more than $100 million – over the next three years into developing a carbon capture storage facility.

However, it’s a guess as to how long it will take to develop one.

“Our first goal is identifying everything we can to make coal a viable energy for the world,” Ms Bligh said.

“We might find the answer in three months, it may take six years.

“Expenditure by ZeroGen to date has yielded a wealth of information about capture technology, power station construction and carbon storage.”

Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek has called for an inquiry into the failure of the ZeroGen clean coal project. “This is just another costly bungle by this long-term Labor Government, Mr Langbroek said.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

A family fun day for all

GET INVOLVED: This year's St Joseph's family fun day will have a range of unique activities for all ages.

Support St Joseph's in Clermont at their annual Family Fun Day.

Blackwell comes to CH

IN TOWN: Aussie cricketer Alex Blackwell will be   a   speaker at Emerald's Epic Street Party on March 22.

Alex Blackwell will be a guest speaker in Emerald next week.

Step back for local graziers

DISAPPOINTED AND DISGUSTED: Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar and farmer/grazier Ian Sampson.

Proposed legislation raises ire on local farms.

Local Partners