The Copper String 2.0 project received a major boost Tuesday with the announcement the Palaszczuk government will invest $14.8 million in it.
Speaking to parliament this morning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the additional support of $14.8 million would support the CopperString 2.0 project to financial close.
This project, which is now seeking construction expressions of interest, will deliver a 1100 kilometre high-voltage transmission line from Townsville to Cloncurry that will connect the North West Minerals Province with the national electricity market.
The premier said that means 400 jobs in construction and 30 ongoing operational jobs.
"But more importantly it means lowering energy costs for the North West Minerals Province where we have half a trillion dollars in the new economy minerals needed for batteries and renewables," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The potential wider economic benefits from unlocked private investment are modelled at over 3500 jobs in North Queensland and $79 billion in economic uplift over 30 years."
The Premier said she did not just want to see the minerals like cobalt, copper, scandium and vanadium mined in Queensland.
"I want to see the batteries manufactured in Queensland because that means more jobs in more regions," she said.
"This is the type of productive infrastructure that will position Queensland for the next half a century."
Former state mines minister Tony McGrady who is now chair of the North Queensland Sustainable Resources Group supporting Copper String, called the announcement a red letter day for the region and Queensland.
"Cheaper electricity is the key to avoiding a catastrophic decline in the economy of North Western Queensland," Mr McGrady said.
"In assisting with this vital piece of nation-building infrastructure, the Queensland Government sends a message out to the world that Queensland and in particular our regional centres in the North and West will play an important role in ensuring economic sustainability in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic.
"This also secures our role as the capital of the minerals industry of Australia into the future, with massive investment and increased job opportunities."
Traeger MP Robbie Katter called it a great win for the project and the region.
"But I won't be resting until this project is built and we are connected to the NEM," Mr Katter said.
"I am pleased to see the State Government is heeding the North-West's calls and are showing some understanding as to the importance of developing the region and our invaluable industries."
"My next priority is working to save the future of our advanced manufacturing sector, for the benefit of the entire state."
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