“ADani was here now and for the community, “said Townsville mayor Jenny Hill, looking back at the decade spent defending the steam coal project as a way to reduce the city’s high unemployment rate. I will.
“I didn’t have a job. I wasn’t interested in manufacturing. It was important to give the community hope for the future.”
With Townsville at the forefront of the coal war, ALP member Hill became a celebrity in the party’s division of coal and climate. In 2019, she told the Labor Party’s Chifley Research Center-run forum that the city’s motto was “We stick to guns: we support the mining industry.”
Therefore, it is worth noting that Hill now says that clean energy, not steam coal, is at the forefront of Townsville’s future economy.
“If you are politicized, you have to deal with it in the short term, but you have to deal with it in the long run,” Hill tells Guardian Australia.
“The market ultimately decides what happens and where it ends with steaming coal. The Japanese have announced that they are trying to reduce steaming coal imports.
“Economy [like South Korea and Japan] Clean energy is needed, which means green hydrogen. We are in a position to provide. “
Some locals in Townsville have seen subtle but significant changes in language from communities and business leaders with rapidly changing international sentiment. Declining coal outlook..
Hill does not directly acknowledge the proposal that the ground has changed since a few years ago when he explained Adani to writer Anna Crian: “The only big thing next”..
But she now enthusiastically talks about certain migration opportunities that could be created where the harbor can connect Queensland’s rare earth mineral deposits with the world. And refining and manufacturing are already fueled by the city’s 320 days of sunlight per year.
Townsville is developing an eco-industrial district with plans for solar microgrids to power Battery manufacturing, Nickel refineries and other industries.Townsville harbor signed this week Memorandum In collaboration with the energy company Origin, we export green hydrogen that can be produced locally from non-drinking water and solar power.
“Scientists in me see it as a pilot study,” Hill said.
“I always support mining, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take advantage of these new technologies to bring manufacturing back to this country.
“This is to rethink the economy of my community and build it. If it works here, it can definitely grow.”
The future is sunny
Last month, Solar Citizens, a lobby group for solar owners and renewable energy supporters, turned Townsville into a renewable energy “power plant” with 11,000 people, or 10% of the city’s total workforce. We have released a report detailing how to create jobs.
Proposals for renewable energy manufacturing and industrial projects could be worth $ 154 billion over their lifetime, according to the report.
Companies already leading the transition to the city, including Sun Metals, a refiner owned by Korea Zinc, one of Queensland’s largest energy consumers, and a power-intensive facility that built Australia’s first own solar farm. there is.
The Townsville Council and its regional business lobby, Townsville Enterprise, run on renewable microgrids and land “eco-industrial districts” that may include battery manufacturing plants, refineries and other green industries. A business that is greatly promoting plans to build down.
In Queensland politics, “transition” was a dirty word. Pro-coal politicians like LNP Senator Matt Canavan said Transition is equal to job destruction..Right-wing media commentators describe comments that miners need to “re-skill” As a kind of ideological war, Not part of the debate about how the community responds to the actual global shift from fossil fuels.
“It’s the workers’ rights in the community that aren’t destroyed during the transition,” said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance research at the Institute for. energy Economics and financial analysis say. “And now the chance [from transition] It is real and is beginning to become a reality. “
Sean Cochrane, who runs the renewable energy business Super Green Solutions in Townsville, says conversations in the city have clearly changed, allowing people to see real opportunities from energy transitions.
“A year ago, that was all we needed to do coal work. We need coal work,” says Cochrane.
“There was no other source of discussion, another job. I don’t think Townsville is the backwater that people in the South sometimes think so. Townsville has grown up. People have intelligent solutions. looking for.”
Joseph O’Brien, managing director of the Townsville company, is proposing to build Copperstring 2.0, a project to connect the Northwestern Mineral State to the country’s energy grid, saying the city has great opportunities. ..
“I think the real message here is not what Townsville shouldn’t do, but what Townsville does as a global leader, which is advanced industrial manufacturing and mineral processing.” O’Brien said.
“This industrial production pedigree has the potential to be a huge job creator and is also a huge creator of expertise that is of great value to the region and Australia.
“Townsville is an entrepreneurial and practical place where you can’t afford to choose where you want to get your job. Regional centers need to harness their strengths and respond to global opportunities. For Townsville, global opportunities bring a very bright future. “
“You don’t want your city to die”
After the floods in Townsville in early 2019, suburban residents in the lowlands of Hermit Park took out dead appliances and muddy property and piled them up on the roadside.
Guardian Australia asked a few locals there about climate change. Queensland Prime Minister Anastasia Parasek had just called the flood “unprecedented.”Experts overwhelmingly believe Climate is spurring more extreme weather events..
“If someone mentions [climate change] Local Mark Parison said shortly after the flood.
“These people are crying about climate change. They have to see how they live. They are still driving around, they are still dressed nicely. They are using mobile phones. Give it up and I will start listening to you.
“The people of the city are stalling us. We need to boost the economy here.”
So for several years we had a lot of discussion in Townsville about coal and climate change. Kitchen table concerns come first. Even if your kitchen table is literally floating.
Even as future opportunities for green energy shift from concept to reality, that element of intense debate remains a reality in northern Queensland. Few people are ready to completely circumvent the coal industry and its prospects to provide jobs to the locals.
“We have to look to the future, but we cannot stop investing in and supporting the existing industries that have been the backbone of our economy for generations,” said Townsville Enterprise’s Director of Regional Development and Investment. One Wade Chiesa says.
Chiesa emphasizes efforts to create new industries, but says that the strength of northern Queensland remains “the ability to generate natural resources and energy in the backyard.”
“Thanks to the 12-month Covid-19 support measures by the state and federal governments, the royalties generated by the mining and resource industries are more important than ever to recover from the largest debt we have ever experienced. I will.
“As of the beginning of the year, Bravus (Adani) had signed a $ 2.2 billion contract to build a Carmichael mine and railroad project, less than two years after the project was approved by the state government, and the company has more than 2,000 people. I hired you.
“Now is the time to have a lasting job to support the family, not the time to erase it.”
According to Hill, the closure of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel Refinery was a “big shock” to Australia’s first “solar city” in 2007, the northern port city.
“Adani [became] Every face because the community was desperately in need of work, “she says.
“You don’t want your city to die. The unemployment rate was 13%. We have long-term aspirations, but short-term needs.
“When I knock on the door, I see people who are barely able to make ends meet and are desperate for a job that has little living wage. Many tourism businesses are low-paying jobs and go to the bank. You can’t get a mortgage for some of those jobs. You can do that when you’re in the mining sector. “
Now, Hill says advanced manufacturing utilizing renewable energy will provide another perspective on high-paying jobs, and the city will embrace the opportunity.
“The key to me and the council is to show the community that we can do this right in Townsville. Power to industry at a much lower rate than using renewable energy to pull power from the grid. Can be supplied.
“We look forward to the long-term work of our community.”
Moment of “Ride To Paris” in Townsville: Slow Greening of Adani Fortress | Adani Group
Source link Moment of “Ride To Paris” in Townsville: Slow Greening of Adani Fortress | Adani Group