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Further support for CopperString 2.0

8 October 2020

Joint media release with Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson, and Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald

The Liberal National Government’s continued support for the important CopperString 2.0 project, included in the 2020-21 Budget, is a commitment to regional jobs, industry development and affordable reliable power.

Building on the Government’s 2019 grant of $5.17 million to support preparatory work on CopperString, further Government support through this budget will help the project progress to final investment decision in 2021.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said as Australia recovers from COVID-19, it is critical that we invest in that recovery.

“This is a key driver for our support for new energy projects in north and central Queensland that will bring down power prices, create jobs and keep the lights on,” Minister Taylor said.

“With up to 1000 km of high voltage transmission line between Mount Isa and Hughenden, CopperString will deliver 750 direct construction jobs and connect north Queensland with the National Electricity Market to help deliver lower cost power.

“Continued Commonwealth support will help ensure that this important energy project is delivered for the people of Queensland.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said continued support for this project is a key part of the Liberal National Government’s broader commitment to central and north Queensland.

“Cheaper, more reliable power will help unlock the full economic promise of the North West Minerals Province and our important job-creating and export oriented regional industries,” Minister Pitt said.

“It is an important project to deliver a fair deal on energy for Australians while supporting our job-creating industries, and the Government is committed to supporting its continued development.”

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said he’d been advocating hard for funding for the project.

“I’ve never shied away from backing CopperString 2.0 because one of the biggest issues raised with me in Townsville is the cost of electricity,” Mr Thompson said.

“By connecting Mount Isa and Townsville we will set ourselves up for a future of more affordable power.

“At the same time we’ll be helping boost employment opportunities during construction when they’re so desperately needed, as we recover from COVID-19.”

LNP North Queensland-based Senator Susan McDonald said the project will open up major new economic opportunities for Queensland’s north-west.

“CopperString will help bring new projects online and deliver high paying jobs for north Queenslanders, both during construction and through the economic development opportunities it will create,” Senator McDonald said.

“This will help further unlock the vast potential of our region providing new opportunities to attract new investment.”

Support for CopperString builds on Government action already underway in regional Queensland to bring down prices and improve reliability, including:

  • Nearly $5 million in grants for a microgrid feasibility studies across 16 locations in regional Queensland under the Government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund (Microgrids Fund).
  • Up to $610 million conditionally approved loan for the development of the Genex’ Kidston Pumped Hydro Project under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
  • $2 million to support a pre-feasibility study on a proposed 1.5 gigawatt pumped hydro plant between Collinsville, Proserpine and Mackay— the Bowen Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project.
  • $3.3 million to support a feasibility study on a proposed 1 gigawatt high efficiency low emissions coal plant in Collinsville.
  • Up to $3 million in grants by ARENA for two hydrogen feasibility studies in Queensland to Nitrates Pty Ltd and Dyno Nobel Moranbah Pty Ltd.

Media contacts:

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180

Mr Thompson's office 02 6277 4418

Senator McDonald's office 02 6277 3635