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Breaking new ground: Challenges and opportunities of a changing energy landscape in regional Australia (Central Queensland)

August 04, 2022

A new Blueprint institute series takes a deep dive into the regional realities of Australia’s shift to a clean energy future—and what that will mean for communities on the ground. Alongside the already released South-West Queensland paper, they examine Central Queensland, the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, the Central Coast of NSW, and the Collie region of WA. Across these five regions—home to all our remaining coal-fired generators, and most of our coal mines—Blueprint’s analysis finds that while opportunities are abundant (in renewable energy and more broadly), and significant prospective projects are underway, uncertainty caused by a lack of definitive policy direction is hampering their development. 

In Central Queensland:

  • From 2022 to 2027, current renewables projects alone could offer 11,040 jobs in construction, and 720 ongoing operations and maintenance positions.

This represents a significant opportunity, but also a stark reality check—government must do more to enable wider regional economic diversification in these communities.

Expecting renewables alone to compensate for the stable, high-paying jobs that coal has provided is unrealistic. But importantly, our analysis finds that all of the regions studied are full of untapped potential that the clean energy economy, broad diversification, private investment, and targeted government backing in vital areas can unlock. 

“Economic diversification is underway in Central Queensland—new opportunities in renewable energy and critical minerals mining exist in swathes, but more must be done to secure the region’s long-term future in a net-zero world,” said CEO David Cross.

A detailed outline of the opportunities available to Central Queensland is available in the full paper.

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