18
Dec 2018

Govt commits to $4.75m for Mt Isa to Townsvile Transmission Line

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is ecstatic the Federal Government has committed to $4.75m for the final engineering and development works of the Copperstring 2.0 Project – a vital transmission line between Mt Isa and Townsville in North West Queensland – a project which will lower electricity prices in the North West and connect Mt Isa to the National electricity grid.


Mr Katter said the start of this project is long overdue as there is immense energy resources in northern Queensland – conventional and renewable – yet the economics of electricity supply put at risk the future of mining and minerals processing, with most buyers paying nearly $200 megawatt hour for electricity via onerous take-or-pay contracts.


“Mining almost always is under threat. Metal markets plummet. The economy of Nth Qld depends upon sugarcane still, the fertiliser plant and the zinc refinery and copper refineries in Townsville. They bring in around $4500m every year and they employ some 15 to 20 thousand people directly or indirectly,” Mr Katter said.


“The cost of electricity and gas are making it increasingly difficult for these giant industries to continue operating. The head offices are not Father Christmas, if it’s not making a profit you close it.


“The cost of electricity in Australia is now the highest in the world, under the much maligned Bjelke Petersen in 1990 we were the lowest. Under the Qld Labor and Federal Liberal Govt privatisation and deregulation the price has soared 300%. The building of this transmission line needs to be started ASAP it is critical for the survival of these giant industries and the economy of North Qld – not just North West Qld.


“Many of the people close to the action have been sweating blood for this announcement, in fact there are few things that have happened in the last 10 years more important than this announcement,” Mr Katter said.


“The S4.75m is not important, it’s a small amount of money - but it is a green light and the Federal Government’s blessing upon the project.


Development of the Copperstring Project started more than 10 years ago, with over $30m has been spent on development activities and feasibility study. The transmission line project will integrate the North West Minerals Province into the Australian east-coast electricity grid and the National Electricity Market. Mr Katter said the supply chain between Townsville and Mt Isa is one of the country’s most valuable economic zones and many people have been waiting for this announcement.


“We’ve had a series of meetings with the Treasurer on this matter and we are deeply appreciative of his actions and that of Prime Minister Morrison,” Mr Katter said.


—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au