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October 29th 2009
NQ Energy Forum gets controversial

While Magnetic Island is becoming a solar demonstration zone through the Solar Cities project another very controversial source of power is to be discussed at this year's North Queensland Energy Forum.

This year’s North Queensland Energy Forum, a one day energy think tank, will debate the question of nuclear power for the first time.

Townsville Enterprise has hosted the forum in conjunction with the Energy Users Association of Australia for the last five years. The region’s energy users, providers and policy makers meet to discuss solutions for North Queensland’s energy woes.

Energy users in North Queensland face a disparity in pricing and an increasing reliance on transmission lines for their power supply. The greater north Queensland region, from Mackay to Mt Isa to Cairns, requires base load energy generation in order to attract new industries and enable growth of existing operations.

Townsville Enterprise Economic Development General Manager Dr Lisa McDonald said the region should leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding a long term solution to energy supply.

“Energy users in northern Queensland have been looking for solutions to securing energy supply for many years. We need to look at all the option, which is why we’ll be debating the nuclear issue at this year’s North Queensland Energy Forum.”

“We’re certainly not changing the focus of our attempts to secure generation through investment into renewable energy technology. It’s a case of putting all the options on the table for discussion. We anticipate a lively debate of the issues.”

“We’re in a position where it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional sources of energy will not get off the ground. It has become apparent that the market is not likely to fund coal or gas fired power in our region which means we’re investigating new solutions.”

“The Federal Government’s renewable energy targets make securing sustainable power generation a realistic proposition – and a report produced in the last 12 months shows that many renewable energy technologies are realistic propositions in our region.”

“We can not afford not to investigate all the options available, so this year we’ve invited the Australian Uranium Association to discuss nuclear power options for the region.”

Australian Uranium Association Executive Director Michael Angwin will be presenting at the forum and then joining a debate to close out the day’s program.

“The challenge is to keep raising living standards while lowering the risk of climate change. Energy resources are crucial to meeting that challenge,” he said.

“No country, State or region can afford to rule out any of its options; nor can it fail to debate them.”

“No energy resource can provide the single answer to climate change or energy needs. The world needs a mix of sources in its energy portfolio.”

“Expanding Australia’s uranium exports is probably the single largest contribution Australia and, for that matter, Queensland, can make to reducing the risk of climate change.”

“Every scenario, projection and forecast for global electricity demand sees a central role for nuclear power. Australia has the world’s largest source of uranium to meet that demand.”

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

NQ Energy Forum gets controversial
October 29th 2009
Since Townsville Enterprise Ltd joined the promotional gravy train of the dumb-and-getting-dumber Submarine Terminal Canal Estate it has descended into the ridiculous. When TEL is described as a 'think tank' (someone must have yelled dive! dive! dive!) the thinkers have become sinkers. The radiation from a discussion of Nuclear Power for North Queensland will actually be sucked into the tank creating a small black hole next to Jupiter's cash sump. Twin tubs for Townsville? TEL is right on the marketing money.
Chris C
October 29th 2009
Good comment Charlie - my only additions would be that TEL are part of the problem - not part of the solution.

And surely the issue isn't ever improving our standard of living (really improving the standard of living of those at the top in the hope that improvements will then trickle down to those at the bottom)- rather it's about improving the sustainability of our way of life and more consumption (energy or otherwise)is'nt the solution to that challenge
Jenny Stirling
October 29th 2009
Nuclear cannot be part of the solution because it is part of the problem. By this I mean that the thinking that created nuclear power is the same thinking that got us into this mess with a profits at any cost mentality at the expense of the environment. In NQ we have the perfect location for a solar thermal base load power station- best in the world I am reliably informed from research promoted by Townsville Enterprise itself. You have to wonder why the government isn't pouring more dollars into this technology- perhaps it is because the greenhouse mafia stands to make little to no profit from it.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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