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Energy transition will test Queensland’s resilience like never before – we need to act now

Anne Tiernan and James Boyle write in The Guardian (22.3.22) about the momentum for a shift to producing ‘green energy’. The authors suggest ways Queensland can ensure nobody is left behind, with more than half of all jobs at risk in some of the state’s regions.

‘A decade on from Queensland’s “summer of disasters”, the state’s south-east faces another mammoth clean-up and recovery effort. According to the deputy premier, Steven Miles, the recent floods are the 90th natural disaster event to impact Queensland since 2011. Recovery will take time, requiring resilience, discipline and focus from leaders and communities who were tired and depleted from a pandemic even before the rivers and creeks started rising.

‘But a bigger test of Queensland’s resilience is looming. Geopolitical tensions may be driving demand for (and royalties from) exports like coal and liquid natural gas, but globally the energy transition is accelerating. Recent research from the Centre for Policy Development reveals the Australian impacts will be concentrated in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. CPD’s analysis estimates more than 10% of jobs are exposed in seven Queensland local government areas, with more than half of all jobs at risk of disappearing in the Isaac and Central Highlands LGAs.

‘… Queensland’s response to the twin challenges of economic recovery and the energy transition presents opportunities to embed lessons from the state’s successful management of Covid-19 and acknowledged strengths in disaster management. These put people at their centre and recognise the importance of ensuring that individuals across the state are secure, that risks and hazards are identified and prepared for, and that responsibilities and opportunities are fairly distributed and shared.’

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