Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar, Storage

Queensland unveils landmark renewable engagement initiative

regional Queensland renewable energy

In a bold move to empower regional communities’ clean energy transition,  the Queensland Government has announced the introduction of a mandatory, nation-leading renewable energy code of conduct.

According to the State Government, this policy aims to ensure local residents are full partners in the state’s renewable energy boom, which is set to create an estimated 100,000 new jobs by 2040.

The new code, which will be co-designed with key stakeholders, will require renewable energy developers to engage genuinely with landholders and communities throughout the development, construction, and operation of new generation and storage projects.

This is a significant shift, as regional Queensland is poised to host around 95 per cent of the state’s renewable energy infrastructure investment.

“This nation-leading code will put communities firmly at the forefront of the energy transition,” Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni said.

“Because we’re committed to ensuring the transition benefits all Queenslanders, we’re ensuring local communities reap the reward by making social licence a race to the top.”

To support the implementation of the new code, the Queensland Government is providing $20 million in seed funding from the Regional Economic Futures Fund. This funding will enable communities to establish legacy infrastructure and advance critical services, with a focus on areas set to host future renewable energy zone development.

The code’s development will consider the findings of the Commonwealth’s Independent Community Engagement Review, which emphasised the importance of genuine community engagement. Local councils, Indigenous Elders, and other community stakeholders will play a vital role in ensuring the transition reflects best practices and meets the priorities of regional communities.

“There is no transition without successful engagement with regional and rural Queensland,” CEO of the Queensland Farmers’ Federation Jo Sheppard said.

“The potential to see regional communities benefit appropriately from the significant amount of investment proposed can only be realised through the development and implementation of a transparent, effective, and comprehensive process to enable community and industry engagement.”

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