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Securing jobs and a future for Tarong

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, has announced Tarong as one of the sites for a new Australian-owned zero-emissions nuclear power station, to be established when the existing coal-fired power station reaches the end of its life.

“Just as Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and The National Party paved a legacy for the South Burnett with the commissioning of the Tarong coal-fired station in the 1980s, The Nationals are introducing the next vision for Tarong and the region,” Mr. Littleproud said.

“Today’s announcement will not only lock in the existing secure jobs but create more jobs and economic investment for decades after the Tarong coal-fired power station reaches its end of life.

“I’m proud to say this will be the biggest single investment ever made in the South Burnett.

“The Tarong community will benefit from a multi-billion dollar facility guaranteeing high-paying jobs for generations to come, an integrated economic development precinct to attract manufacturing, value-add, and high-tech industry, and a regional deal unlocking investment in modern infrastructure, services, and community priorities. This will result in billions of dollars in local investment.”

Mr. Littleproud added every Australian, including households in his own electorate of Maranoa, deserves and should expect access to reliable and affordable electricity. However, under Labor, power bills have increased by up to $1000 for many Australians, despite being promised a $275 cut, with Labor’s 43 percent emissions reduction target by 2030 unachievable.

“Labor’s approach requires imposing 58 million solar panels, 3,500 new industrial wind farms, and up to 28,000 kilometers of new transmission lines across the country. Energy experts have warned the cost of Labor’s rollout will be between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion.

“Our plan will deliver a net-zero electricity grid by 2050 and a strong and resilient economy.

“Importantly, locals will own the power station. The Nationals will not allow our local energy security, and the nation’s energy security, to all be owned by billionaires or multi-national companies.

“The Coalition believes Australia must have a balanced energy mix to deliver cheaper, cleaner, and consistent 24/7 electricity. Ninety percent of baseload electricity, predominantly coal-fired power stations, is coming to the end of life over the next decade.

“An elected National and Liberal Coalition Government would commence a two-and-a-half year comprehensive community engagement process and a detailed technical analysis of each location.

“This will provide each community with an extended opportunity to have their questions answered by leading experts.

“A Community Partnership will be formed in Tarong, consisting of experienced local representatives, as the focal point for community engagement and to play an important role in planning the future of the region.

“The experience from the USA shows that 77 percent of workers at coal-fired power stations can be directly brought across to work on a nuclear power station.

“A Federal Coalition Government will initially develop two establishment projects using either small modular reactors or modern larger plants, such as the AP1000 or APR1400. They will start producing electricity by 2035 (with smaller modular reactors) or 2037 (if modern larger plants are found to be the best option).

“I have confidence that the workers of the Tarong Power station now have a future to continue their jobs and deliver secure, well-paying jobs for their children and grandchildren.”

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