Newman questions state involvement in solar funding
29/03/2012 - Premier Campbell Newman says he'll halt state funding for a solar thermal power plant in Queensland if he can do it without risk to taxpayers.
Newman says he's seeking legal advice on withdrawing $75 million in state funds, for the proposed $1 billion Solar Dawn project near Chinchilla.
The project is part of the federal government's Solar Flagship Program.
Earlier this week, federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson suggested the federal government might withdraw its own $464 million contribution, promised just last month.
"If the new Queensland government chose to breach the existing financial commitment to the Solar Dawn project, the Australian government would naturally need to consider its own position," Ferguson told The Australian.
But the Solar Dawn operators have told the ABC they signed a conditional agreement with the Queensland government last month and they haven't been notified of any change in the state's position.
Newman on Wednesday acknowledged there were contractual commitments that had to be considered.
"We're not going to, in some silly way, cancel a contract that ends up costing taxpayers money in some sort of penalty," he told reporters.
"I'm seeking advice on that and I haven't had a formal briefing, but my intent is clear.
"If we can exit this project and save, I think it is $75 million, we will."
He said that if the federal government wanted to proceed with the project, his government would do everything it could to make it happen.
"But we're not going to put money in because they're the ones that are going to get this carbon tax from the start of the new financial year," Newman said.
Newman is dismantling Queensland's carbon reduction schemes to save $270 million for the state budget.
On Tuesday, the new premier did not go as far as saying all state carbon reduction targets would be scrapped.
But he said the federal government's carbon tax was supposed to be the answer to "all of these problems".
Pressure Testing | PneumaticSend Request
Conergy PowerPlus 220M Solar Electric PanelSend Request
Photovoltaic Generation Systems Grid ConnectSend Request
Asbestos Removal Alternatives | Asbestos Roofing EncapsulationSend Request
Rubbish RemovalsSend Request
Solar Charge Controller | Projecta Solar Controller 12V 7ASend Request