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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

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News

Glencore has provided a $725,000 funding injection to the University of Queensland’s efforts to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

UQ’s ‘Molecular Clamp’ project uses technology that ensures the vaccine induces an immune response that recognises and then neutralises the virus.

On July 13 it was announced that a Phase l clinical trial involving 120 healthy adult volunteers has begun with the first dose of the UQ COVID-19 vaccine being given at the Brisbane clinic of clinical trials specialist, Nucleus Network.

Glencore’s funding comes from the company’s Community Support Fund, set up earlier this year to assist communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Philanthropy has played a critical role in our efforts to fast-track an effective vaccine and help save lives across the world,” Professor Paul Young, co-lead of UQ’s vaccine project, said.

“With the support of Glencore, government partners and a community of almost 2,600 donors, we have been able to combine clinical readiness with scale-up manufacturing, reducing the timeframe to a vaccine by up to six­ months.”

In 2019, Glencore contributed more than $6.4 billion to Queensland’s economy, providing employment for about 9,230 people across its coal, copper and zinc mining operations.


IMAGE: UQ's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is administered at the Brisbane clinic of phase 1 clinical trials specialist, Nucleus Network.



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Federal funding of $8 million has been ‘unlocked’ to progress vital works on a planned $80 million Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road Upgrade.

State Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said by unlocking funding, the Queensland Government would now begin crucial works on the $80 million upgrade including a corridor masterplan, options assessment, community consultation, a business case for staged corridor upgrades, detailed concept design and onsite preparatory works.

“While we get on with the job, we’ll also get stuck into a $5 million upgrade of Rockhampton- Yeppoon Road before the end of the year between Iron Pots Road and Mackays Road,” Ms Lauga said.

“More than 11,000 vehicles travel along this road every day, travelling between the two largest urban areas in Central Queensland, which is why we’re investing in major upgrades to get businesses moving and families home safer.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the $80 million project was funded as part of the Mount Isa to Rockhampton Corridor Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) upgrade, which has a total Australian Government commitment of $254 million.

“Yeppoon Road is a critical connection between Rockhampton and Yeppoon, and under the broader corridor investment, this upgrade will complement the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver targeted improvements to the Landsborough and Capricorn highways, as well as surrounding roads,” Mr Buchholz said.

The Australian Government has committed $64 million and the Queensland Government $16 million towards the $80 million Yeppoon Road Upgrade.


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Developing the CopperString 2.0 transmission project would power an additional 3560 jobs in North and North-West Queensland in the next 30 years, a new report shows.

The report, “Re-powering the Townsville & North West Minerals Province Industrial Economy”, also finds that Queensland’s aggregate Gross State Product would increase by $139 billion with the project up and running.

The proposed CopperString 2.0 project would see an 1100km high voltage transmission network connecting the North West Minerals Province to the national transmission grid.

The study found that by removing the barrier of isolation from the national grid for the NWMP, aggregate gross minerals production was forecast to increase by $154 billion over 30 years, CopperString 2.0 proponents say.

CopperString 2.0 founder John O’Brien said CopperString was a transformative project because it would fill the “missing link” connecting world-class natural resources – minerals and clean energy – with the National Electricity Market to unlock enormous industrial manufacturing and export opportunity.

“Common use infrastructure investment is essential for our region to sustain global-competitiveness through lower prices and lower emissions intensity for our minerals and fertiliser manufacturing industries and it’s these industries that sustain thousands of jobs and add billions to Northern Queensland’s economy each year and for decades to come.” Mr O’Brien said.

“The economic and strategic drivers for growing the Townsville and NWMP industrial economy have never been more important and the study findings we are releasing this week demonstrate the enormous opportunity if we can continue our collaboration with State and Federal Governments to deliver this game-changing infrastructure.”

The study by a consortium of highly regarded geology and mining consultants has been provided to the Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier and the National COVID Coordination Committee through Chair Nev Power.

“For CopperString we need to bed-down an Implementation Agreement with the Queensland Government, secure financing support from the Australian Government and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, and continue our approvals and engineering work to ensure we remain on track to commence construction in the first half of 2021,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Building major common use infrastructure to deliver long-term macro- economic benefit and advances strategic industrial manufacturing objectives can only be achieved with the firm support of the Queensland and Australian Governments and local communities.”


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The planned $350 million Rodds Bay Solar Farm south of Gladstone has attracted backing from UK investment group United Green.

More than 300 construction jobs are expected to be generated in bringing the 300MW project online, with early works tipped to kick off in coming months.

United Green has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake from the current project owner, Renew Estate.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk described the equity investment from United Green ass a vote of confidence in Queensland’s renewables sector.

“While there are still some steps for this project to follow, this major investment will mean hundreds of new jobs in the Gladstone region when the project is due to start later this year,” she said

Renew Estate director Vincent Dwyer said the Rodds Bay project was a commitment to a sustainable future for the Gladstone region.

“We are passionate about the potential for Central Queensland as a renewable energy hub supporting heavy industry and are committed to supporting an energy transition there in partnership with the community,” he said.

“We are delighted to have secured such a capable and experienced partner in United Green, with a shared vision for Queensland as a renewable energy powerhouse.

“Rodds Bay will not only create direct employment through jobs on site but will create major opportunities for suppliers across a range of areas.

“We worked closely with Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) to secure the investment, and we are very grateful to TIQ for their introductions and support.

“We’re also continuing to work closely with them to connect into local supply chains as part of delivering jobs and regional economic development.”

Located about 50km south of Gladstone, Rodds Bay Solar Farm has planning approval for an integrated storage facility. It will connect to Queensland’s 275kV transmission network between Bororen and Rodds Bay.

It is the latest project for the Renew Estate joint venture – which also owns the Whitsunday, Hamilton and Clermont solar farms in Queensland.

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    The countdown is on for QME 2020 in Mackay, with registrations now open for the major exhibition.

    Traditionally held in late July, Queensland Mining & Engineering Expo has moved back to September 22-24 in what is expected to be a great boost to the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Reed Exhibitions said it had been working with key government departments and partners to put together a comprehensive health and safety plan for the event.

    QME is expected to feature more than 200 suppliers as well as hosting a free-to-attend seminar series.

    Industry leaders who have already confirmed their participation to speak at the seminar series include Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane; METS Ignited CEO Adrian Beer, Greater Whitsunday Alliance CEO Kylie Porter and Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow.

    QME Exhibition director Brandon Ward acknowledges the importance of the event to the local region and also to the State following a tough first half of 2020.

    “Mackay is the heartbeat of the Queensland mining industry which is why QME has been so important to the region for more than 25 years,” he said.

    “As sentiment improves and the mining industry leads the economic revival, an event such as QME becomes even more important.”

    QME is a partner of the Bowen Basin Mining Club’s QLD Mining Awards, which recognise achievements across the state’s mining sector.

    The awards will be held at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on 23 September in line with the new QME dates.

    Attendance to QME is free for both the exhibition and seminar series but everyone attending must register to gain entry.

    For more information visit the QME website at qmeeexpo.com.au

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    Private Queensland property company Stockwell has appointed Mackay builder WHF Group to construct the first two stages of its Northern Beaches Emporium .

    Northern Beaches Emporium is set to commence construction in September 2020 under the $6 million contract, with an anticipated opening early 2021.

    It is estimated that construction will create about 60 jobs and, once operational, a further 160 jobs will be generated for the community.

    Located in Rural View, opposite Northern Beaches Central, the development will include a new Mobil Service Station, new health services anchored by Queensland X-Ray, and additional food offerings.

    It is also planned to host about 4000sq m of big box commercial, retail and warehouse space.

    Stockwell said it had continued to work with Aletta Nugent, director of development services, and her team at Mackay Regional Council throughout the challenges of COVID-19 to secure the development approval in April 2020.

    “Northern Beaches Emporium is a project we’re very proud to deliver for the council and community through this challenging time,” Stockwell managing director Mark Stockwell said.

    Mr Stockwell said there had been a lot of positive feedback and strong leasing enquiry from businesses.

    IMAGE: Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson, WHF general manager Chris Frier and office manager Caiitlyn Frier with Stockwell managing director Mark Stockwell at the site.

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