De Brenni’s Callide C performance calls into question his ability to administer the Clean Energy Jobs Act

Clean Economy Jobs Act calls for impossibly high administrative prowess

Mick de Brenni’s failures of mismanagement and misrepresentation in the Callide C accident show he is unsuited to fill the role of Energy Minister, which involves centrally planning the economy to reduce CO2,according to Graham Young, Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Progress.

“Under the Clean Economy Jobs Act the state government has chosen the very worst way to lower emissions by giving the Energy Minister responsibility for devising industry sector plans which will be imposed on unnamed industry sectors.

“As outlined in our submission to the parliament’s Clean Economy Jobs and Transport Committee, this involves a degree of central planning of the economy that has never been attempted outside places like Cuba, or the old USSR.

“If the Minister cannot honestly and competently deal with the failure of a single generator unit, now offline for more than three years, how can he possibly be trusted to deal with the complexity of sectors like transport, manufacturing, agriculture and services.

“I doubt whether any minister could, but this one certainly couldn’t.”

Mr Young said Mr de Brenni’s failures went back to the very start of his ministerial career in 2015.

“In 2016 he cancelled the Logan Renewal Initiative which was a public private partnership that would have turned 1,000 outdated public housing units into 2,600 new homes, including 1,600 social and affordable dwellings.

“It also involved payments from the Commonwealth of $400 million.

“The scheme was supported by the mayor of Logan City, contracts had been entered into and people employed on the basis of the scheme proceeding.

“Instead, the minister scrapped it out of the blue for the “Better Neighbourhoods Logan” scheme that promised an additional 410 new social and affordable homes, well short of the other plan.

“So the government ended-up $400 million and 1,210 dwellings short.

“It is doubtful the target of 410 new dwellings was also met. It should be noted that the Auditor General in his 2022-23 report ‘Delivering social housing services’ said that since 2017-18 only 978 additional social houses had been built – and this is the total for the whole of Queensland.”

Mr Young said that under the Clean Economy Jobs Act Part 3 the Minister was supposed to decide what sectors are to be regulated, a program for regulation of the sectors (by December 31 this year), and delegate the making of plans, over which he has the final say, to particular ministers.

“This is a clumsy mechanism to given a clumsy minister to control.”