Western Downs thriving as energy capital of Queensland

The Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland is hosting 10 proposed renewable energy projects as a substantial contribution to the Queensland Government's plan to achieve a 50% share of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030.

The 10 solar farms and Cooper’s Gap wind farm combined would support 3120 construction jobs, $5.5 billion in investment and 2.41 gigawatts of installed electricity generation.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the Western Downs had become the energy capital of Queensland, with 10 approved solar farms so far, which when combined with the Cooper’s Gap Wind Farm will support a further 3,120 construction jobs in the renewables space and deliver $5.5 billion in investment.

His comments coincided with a visit by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the Darling Downs Solar Farm, the first of the ten solar farms under construction.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the pipeline of projects – under construction, planned and proposed for the Western Downs – was valued at more than $20 billion with the promise of 15,000 construction jobs.

“The impact on the Western Downs is very significant. The region’s unemployment rate is 4.8% - 1% below the state average,” she said.

"There is new investment and renewed optimism on the Western Downs.”

Mayor McVeigh said the region is not only well placed to support the billions of dollars' worth of development, it also has the skilled workforce to fill the thousands of real regional jobs being generated.

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