Anthony Albanese lays out Queensland vision in pre-budget speech

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Anthony Albanese will lay out his plan to keep Queensland at the forefront of the “challenging” decades ahead, in a pre-budget speech that sets out his strategy for the country as the economy goes net-zero.

In an address to the Queensland Media Club on Thursday, the Prime Minister will set out his vision for the next 12 months and lay the groundwork for a second term.

As he talks up the need for the economy to pivot, and for government to work closer to build up its own sovereign clean energy capabilities, he will say the Sunshine State will continue be a powerhouse of the renewable energy transformation.

In a hint the May budget would further bolster the path forward, Mr Albanese will talk up the need change to ensure the re-industrialisation of the country as he announces the government will this year create the Future Made in Australia Act.

The Act bring together a package of new and existing initiatives to “boost investment, create jobs, and seize the opportunities of a future made in Australia” as the economy transitions away from a carbon base.

“We want to look at everything that will make a positive difference,” he will say.

“Investing in new industries – and ensuring that workers and communities will share in the dividend.

“That means giving the new Net Zero Economy Authority every tool it needs to support resource communities in particular through the coming decades of economic change.

“Town by town, worker by worker. This isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s the work of a generation.

“But the preparation for what comes next, has to start now.”

His speech comes a day after the head of one of Australia’s biggest energy companies warned getting to net-zero by 2050 would be “difficult” because there were serious inhibitors to investment like rising costs.

Jeff Dimery, the chief executive of Alinta Energy, gave an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday where he warned the investment landscape was also severely inhibited.

“I spoke at a conference two years ago and said that it would cost $8bn to hypothetically replace our brown coal-fired power station, Loy Yang B, with pumped hydro and offshore wind. Well, that’s more like $10bn today with movements in various cost components,” Mr Dimery said.

On Thursday, Mr Albanese will heap praise on Queensland – the state where Labor holds just five federal seats and is staring down defeat at this year’s state election – as he warns that there is “unlimited potential, but we do not have unlimited time”

Pointing to the work Queensland had already done to build up solar and wind farms, and hydrogen hubs, Mr Albanese will say the government will invest more in building up clean technologies in the years ahead.

Mr Albanese will say the government had been working on laying the foundations for the “new wave” of economic reform needed to create the next prosperity and opportunity, and next month’s budget would build on it.

“In this time of transformative opportunity, our government will not be an observer or a spectator – we will be a participant, a partner, an investor and enabler,” he will say.

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