Queensland Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2023 heralds the Centrally Controlled Economy

Low growth and low paid jobs

The Queensland government’s Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2023 has only one mention of “jobs” – in the title – and only one mention of employment. See our briefing note by clicking here.

It is a bill which legislates emissions targets incompatible with other legislation and gives the Clean Economy Jobs Minister, Mick de Brenni, powers to centrally plan the Queensland economy making him more powerful than the Minister for State Development.

It does not guarantee that targets or timetables will be met.

Our Policy Brief analyses the bill in detail, but the important points are:

  • The bill is inconsistent with Queensland’s existing legislative targets. Queensland’s current CO2 emissions are currently 29% below 2005, and the government’s Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Act 2023 mandates a further drop of 21.7% by 2030 yet the bill envisages no drop in emissions for the next 6 years.
  • It will increase uncertainty for business. It sets emissions targets and timetables for them to be met without a plan for doing this. These plans will be developed by the minister over the next two years. He can change the plans, the targets, the definitions of how to measure emissions and compliance without reference to anyone else.
  • Emissions reduction plans will be developed and imposed on industry sectors. Experience in the USSR and Maoist China demonstrates that central planning reduces, or destroys, economic growth and well-paid jobs. Central planning has the potential to disadvantage Queensland companies and disrupt interstate commerce.
  • The economic modelling to support the legislation is flawed. Growth in the economy is predicated on lower energy costs, but we know that costs will increase, as they have in all other countries as they try to decarbonise. In 2018 the forecasters, EY, said Queensland power prices would be $40 per MWh by 2021. They were around $60 that year and are currently $84.02.

Attributable quotes.

“The Queensland Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2024 is similar to the Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games Arrangements Bill 2021, but with a higher level of difficulty. The plan has to be improvised, devised and executed, costs will be huge and unpredictable, and implementation is centralised in the minister’s office.

“Under current, or any, management, it promises to be a bigger debacle than Brisbane 2032.”

“Business, and therefore every employee, has a lot to worry about as the Clean Economy Jobs minister is Mick de Brenni who underperformed as minister for Housing and Public Works where welfare housing stock did not keep up with population growth, and his antagonistic attitude to business was demonstrated when he cancelled the $800 million Logan Renewal Initiative.

“A ‘clean economy’ bill that doesn’t promise any reduction in emissions for 6 years when other government legislation has a target of a further 21.7% reduction, is evidence of incompetence.”