02/05/2019 - 13:10

$60m biomass, solar plans for Collie axed

02/05/2019 - 13:10

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Govermment funds earmarked for a biomass energy plant and solar farm at Collie have been transferred to a new $60 million job creation fund that aims to create a long-term future for the town as coal mining winds down in coming years.

$60m biomass, solar plans for Collie axed
Mark McGowan says his government is committed to ensuring a prosperous future for Collie.

Govermment funds earmarked for a biomass energy plant and solar farm at Collie have been transferred to a new $60 million job creation fund that aims to create a long-term future for the town as coal mining winds down in coming years.

Collie's coal workers are nervous about their future given speculation about when the town's ageing state-owned power station will close.

Some estimate it will be as soon as 2025, although the local shire recently stressed that one of the town's two mines, Premier, is contracted to provide coal to utility Synergy until at least 2030.

The state government seeks to diversify the town's economy, including stimulating tourism in the forest and farmland-rich area.

It announced today that next week's state budget will show $60 million has been re-allocated from the energy projects to establishing the Industry Attraction and Development Fund, with $10 million going towards a plan to establish Collie as WA's premier "adventure trails town".

In a statement, the state government said it believes renewable energy could still have a future in Collie but it needs to be part of a broader economic development strategy.

Premier Mark McGowan said his government is committed to ensuring a prosperous future for Collie.

"This $60 million investment will go a long way to ensuring the future sustainability of the town and new job opportunities for locals," he said.

The new development fund is in addition to the $20 million Collie Futures Fund.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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