Trevor St Baker

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Trevor St Baker was the founder of the Australian private power company ERM Power, an alternate director on the board of the mining industry lobby group the Queensland Resources Council and is a director of the Energy Policy Institute of Australia, Sunset Power International and St Baker Energy Holdings.[1]

Background

According to Blooomberg St Baker establised "the first generation planning department in Queensland, which facilitated the interconnection between central and southern Queensland networks and the development of the Gladstone power station. He led the establishment of the Queensland Energy Resource Division in the State Electricity Commission of Qld, which facilitated the deregulation of power station fuel procurement in the State and the development of the Blackwater and Curragh mines and Tarong, Callide B and Stanwell power stations."[2]

National Party candidate

St. Baker ran as a National Party candidate in the 1993 federal election for the newly created House of Representatives sest of Dickson on th fringe of Brisbane. St Baker gained 10.21% of the votes cast.[3] (In 1993 the National Party and the Liberal Party had not merged and ran candidates against each other. The seat of Dickson had just been created before the 1993 election.)

Political donations

On October 10, 2017 St Baker donated $50,000 to the Liberal National Party for the November 27, 2017 Queensland state election campaign.[4] (The donation was made by the St Baker Family Trust, which trades as Sunset Power, a separate corporate entity from Sunset Power International which owns the Vales Point power station in NSW.)

St Baker denied he had lobbied the LNP in support of the privatisation of Queensland publicly owned power plants. "I have never had a meeting with Tim Nicholls," St Baker said. "My wife and I decided to respond to the LNP this time with this by-far larger donation for the present State election campaign, simply because the LNP cannot match the campaign support Labor gets from Unions, and businesses are reluctant to come forward with election campaign support if they are going to be publicised as lobbying for a business interest. In all my business life, I have never lobbied for a benefit, and have built businesses on fundamental policy principles which don't involve government handouts. This personal election campaign donation by my wife and I is not connected to any of the numerous business I am involved in," he told the Gladstone Observer.[5]

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) records reveal St Baker Enterprise Pty Ltd contributed $16,500 to the Liberal National Party in Queensland in 2015/16 financial year. The amount is identified as "other receipt" rather than as a donation.[6] The AEC record identifies Trevor St Baker on its record for the contribution. St Baker Enterprises have not filed a return to the Australian Electoral Commission.[7]

The Electoral Commission of Queensland database also records 7 gifts made by the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund or the St Baker Energy Innovation Trust to Queensland political parties between February 2016 and August 2018. Of those gifts, five were to the Liberal National Party totalling $15,760. Two donations were made to the Queensland branch of the Labor Party: $2200 on July 7, 2016 while the Labor party was in opposition and $5500 on August 23, 2018. (Queensland Labor narrowly won the November 2017 state election.)[8] (A screenshot of the Electoral Commission of Queensland database record is available here.)

St Baker pitches for federal government support for new coal plants

In January 2019 St Baker told The Australian that he would submit a proposal to Australia's Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor, for government support for three projects: a new 1320 MW new brown coal plant in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria; a 660 MW black coal plant in NSW's Hunter Valley at either AGL's Liddell power station or at Sunset Power International's Vales Point B power station; and a 240MW Goat Hill pumped hydro project near Port Augusta in South Australia.[9]

The report claimed "St Baker has lined up a Chinese joint-venture partner" but did not name the company. St Baker said that financing the projects be sought from Australian banks but instead would rely solely on international lenders.[9]

Timeline

  • 1980: Founded ERM Power
  • June 2009 to October 21, 2011: Chairman of ERM Power Limited from
  • February 22, 2012 to July 14, 2017: Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of ERM Power and Director until July 14, 2017.
  • Chairman of NewGen Braemar 2 Pty Ltd.
  • Director of ERM Oakey Power Pty Ltd. He served as a Director of ERM Power Retail Pty. Ltd. until May 21, 2014.
  • ERM Power representative on the Electricity Supply Association of Australia

Articles and resources

References

  1. St Baker Energy Innovation Fund], accessed September 2018.
  2. "Trevir St Baker", Bloomberg, accessed September 2018.
  3. Australian Election Commission, "Download the 1993, 1996 and 1998 election statistics", Australian Electoral Commission, accessed September 2018. (Note: the file is 95MB; to find the results for Dickson a) open the "aec-1993-1996-1998-election-statistics" file; b) then open the "data" folder; c) then open the "repsres" folder; d) then open the "tables93" folder; e) open the "excel" folder; and f) the final results are in the Excel file V3_4DICK.
  4. "St Baker Family Trust", Electoral Commission of Queensland, accessed September 2018.
  5. "Private energy tycoon donates to Nicholls' campaign", Gladstone Observer, November 3, 2017.
  6. "Return Receipt Details - 2015-16: Liberal National Party of Queensland", Australian Electoral Commission, accessed September 2018.
  7. "Donor Annual Return - 2015-16: St Baker Enterprises Pty Ltd", Australian Electoral Commission, accessed September 2018.
  8. "Donor Location Map", Electoral Commission of Queensland, accessed September 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Perry Williams, "Chinese in $6bn clean coal plan", The Australian, January 19, 2019.

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