I had a cursory glance through the Queensland and New South Wales state Budgets yesterday to see if there was anything interesting going on in terms of climate change. There wasn’t.

New South Wales allocated about $21 million to leverage private sector investment for six new large-scale renewable projects — but it hardly makes up for the lack of a coherent policy to promote renewable energy.  There was also a good chunk of cash that just got flushed down the toilet, with another $25 million allocated to “clean coal” in 2010-11.

Interestingly in NSW, they didn’t mention anything about funding their “Climate Change Action Plan”, which was supposed to be developed to replace the 2005 State Greenhouse Plan. The climate policy vacuum and looks set to continue in NSW for some time — but, to be fair, it isn’t the only policy vacuum in the state.

Queensland is in a similar position with a small cash splash for solar energy, which is substantially more than NSW but still lacks any mechanism that would actually drive the growth of large scale renewables.

One of the interesting things that stood out in the transport section of the Queensland Budget was $864.2 million for coal network trackworks and new and upgraded locomotives and wagons to support coal haulage across Queensland.  There is also $40.2 million to continue capacity improvements and upgrades at the RG Tanna Coal Terminal at the Port of Gladstone, at a total estimated cost of $95.3 million.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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