A new Regional Reference Group hopes to ensure the CopperString 2.0 electricity transmission project to link the North West Minerals Province and Townsville gets off the ground..
The Group will harness the community and key stakeholders to ensure the project's potential, as a catalyst for economic development harnessing the future of Northern Queensland's minerals-processing industry and large-scale clean energy resources.
Former Queensland minister and Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady has been appointed chair of the North Queensland Sustainable Resources Corridor Regional Reference Group with CopperString project founder John O'Brien deputy chair.
Mr O'Brien said the RRG would help drive another 50 years of prosperity from our minerals resources, our minerals refineries in Townsville and Mount Isa.
"We continue to advocate strongly with all governments for the immense and important economic opportunity across Northern Queensland, what we call the NQ Sustainable Resources Corridor," Mr O'Brien said.
"The people best placed to understand the opportunities and communicate the potential of our region are those from North and North-West Queensland and so we've decided to facilitate the establishment of the RRG - Tony McGrady brings a wealth of economic, resources and community knowledge as chair and he'll be joined by others in coming weeks."
The Australian Government included a funding commitment in their mid-year budget update in December 2018 of $4.7m to fast-track development activities. The Queensland Government announced a "Powering North Queensland Plan" in 2017 with a planned $386 million investment, including "Develop strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North-West Queensland".
"Both elements make an important contribution to the development of the Townsville to Mount Isa corridor and will unlock billions of dollars of investment with thousands of high-value jobs for decades into the future," Mr O'Brien said.
"North Queensland desperately needs the jobs and economic growth we can achieve from an investment boom in energy infrastructure."
The CopperString project is a long-standing proposal to build a power transmission line to connect the North West Minerals Province to the national grid.
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