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A $14.8 million injection to nudge the CopperString 2.0 power project towards lift-off is among a package of COVID-19 fightback measures the State Government announced.

The $1.5 billion scheme will connect the North West Minerals Province with the national electricity grid with the construction of more than 1000km of transmission infrastructure between Woodstock and Mount Isa.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced $14.8 million in funding to enable the CopperString project to continue its development activities and prepare for construction in 2021.

It follows a commitment of $1.18 million last year to help the proponents develop their business case.

As well as creating hundreds of jobs in construction, the project would help lower energy costs for the North West Minerals Province, Ms Palaszczuk said.

Potential $79b economic uplift

The mining region held half a trillion dollars worth of the new economy minerals needed for batteries and renewables.

“The potential wider economic benefits from unlocked private investment are modelled at over 3500 jobs in North Queensland and $79 billion economic uplift over 30 years,” she said.

“I just don’t want to see the minerals, cobalt, copper, scandium and vanadium mined in Queensland. I want to see batteries manufactured in Queensland because that means more jobs in the regions.

“This is the type of productive infrastructure that will position Queensland for the next half a century.”

CopperString 2.0 proponents last month released a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) to qualified contractors for construction of the transmission project.

Copperstring 2.0 director Joseph O’Brien said the CopperString team was getting on with the job of getting this nation building project ready for construction in the first half of 2021. 

He said the project team welcomed the Government’s funding and strong commitment to developing the Townsville-to-North West Minerals Province industrial economy. 

“The Queensland Government has demonstrated an inspiring vision for North and North West Queensland powered by a strategic transmission investment and the country’s best renewable energy zone, and today is a critical step forward in creating jobs and prosperity for our region and ensuring the world has a secure supply of clean minerals needed for the modern global economy”, Mr O’Brien said.

Key to unlocking future of the North West

The project was declared a coordinated project by Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General in April last year.

State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter described the funding announcement as very exciting news.

The CopperString connection was the key to unlocking the future of the North West, and the Townsville economy also, he said.