Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan: Business at the forefront of sustainable and carbon neutral opportunities
Queensland businesses are encouraged to drive sustainable and carbon neutral operations to maximise future opportunities as the state advances on renewable energy targets.
It comes as the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan was released this week, detailing new renewable energy targets and a $35 million program for SMEs to purchase energy efficiency equipment and energy management systems.
“A focus on a sustainability-led transformation of the economy will accelerate the transition to sustainable energy and support our businesses’ and communities’ viability and create opportunities now and into the future,” Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Policy and Advocacy Manager Cherie Josephson said.
Ms Josephson said CCIQ called for strong investment to transitioning the state to sustainable energy ahead of this year’s State Budget, as well as for businesses to be afforded initiatives that incentivised and encouraged them to advance their sustainability journey.
“We called for investment to future-proof Queensland’s energy asset base and to build resilience in the transition to sustainable energy sources, and incentives for businesses to invest in sustainable energy,” Ms Josephson said.
“We also called for a boost in investment for sustainability research and development, including a market for valuing natural capital and support for high value, high skilled industries best placed to target research and development, towards developing and enhancing products and services for a future sustainability economy,” Ms Josephson said.
“The business community has an important role to play in the next decade in Queensland as we advance towards sustainable energy and growth opportunities.
“Adopting sustainable and carbon neutral business practices is an operational and strategic priority for Queensland businesses, and the investment in transitioning the state to sustainable energy will support this journey.
“We have seen a significant increase in the interest and uptake of these sustainable business practices, for not only cost savings but also to realise market driven opportunities and growth.
“We welcome the commitments to regional economies, workforces and supply chains acknowledged in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.”
Ms Josephson said Queensland businesses with sustainable practices, including sustainable energy sources, would have significant opportunities over the next decade for growth and diversification, as well as from future opportunities like the 2032 Olympics.
“To realise those opportunities, businesses need to progress their sustainability journey now to ensure they’re best placed to be competitive,” Ms Josephson said.
“CCIQ’s ecoBiz program, funded by the Queensland Government, can help business reduce energy consumption and costs.
“The free program supports business sustainability, helping businesses to reduce their waste, water, and energy consumption and bills by auditing a business' resource usage.
“This translates into cost savings on a business’ bills, and efficiency gains by reducing the input levels required for the same output levels.”
See ecobiz.cciq.com.au to register for the program.
Commitments in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan for businesses
- Drive savings for small businesses: $35 million Queensland Business Energy Saving Transformation (QBEST) program to help businesses save money on their electricity bills.
- Partner with industries and communities to maximise benefits form the energy transformation and drive regional economic opportunities: Benefits for regional communities through a new $200 million Regional Economic Futures Fund to support economic and community development initiatives and a new Regional Energy Transformation Partnerships Framework with $35 million for strategic planning and community engagement activities.
- Grow the renewable energy supply chain in Queensland: $11.6 million to help build capacity in the Queensland manufacturing sector and deliver a grant program that supports up to 400 manufactures to increase their competitiveness in a low carbon future.
- Prepare Queensland’s workforce and regions for growth: Develop a Future Energy Workforce Roadmap during 2023 and invest $90 million to establish two new regional transmission and training hubs. The government will also establish a new Energy Industry Council and a Queensland Renewable Energy Jobs Advocate to provide advice on the future skills, opportunities and training pathways required.