Strategy to add spark to North West’s economy
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the strategy was the result of extensive consultation and would be backed by an implementation plan to quickly deliver outcomes.
“Key supply chain and value-adding industries in Townsville and surrounding regions are of strategic importance to the North West Minerals Province,” Mr Dick said.
“Mineral resources will remain the region’s primary industry but to counter commodity cycle impacts, as well as severe weather events, the strategy outlines new ways to enhance the investment environment, boost supply chains and sustain thriving communities.”
CopperString 2.0 project founder John O’Brien highlighted the broad political support for CopperString 2.0 at a State and Federal level.
“To deliver large common user infrastructure, particularly in regional Queensland, all levels of government must work together and we are in the fortunate position that all major political parties in Queensland are supporting CopperString 2.0, and now have made financial contributions to help deliver the project,” he said.
“The feedback we have received from both industry and community stakeholders is clear that access to competitively priced and reliable power is critical to making long term, industry-building investment not only for the resources sector but for investment in other industries such as agriculture and industrial manufacturing.”
He said the project was advancing quickly and was currently negotiating key commercial agreements with foundation customers, regulatory / approvals frameworks with the Queensland Government and financing from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Focus areas in the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy include:
–$1.68 million towards energy supply and transmission projects, including $1.18 million to Copperstring 2.0 to support it’s $1 billion project and $500,000 to work with stakeholders to develop opportunities for new common user electricity infrastructure
– $600,000 investment into catalytic projects including fodder production and ongoing irrigated cropping trials and identification of co-investment opportunities for common user facilities and the development of a targeted program for global investment attraction
– $150,000 for planning and design work to expand and upgrade Kronosaurus Korner and fossil sites at Richmond; planning and design work to develop visitor infrastructure at Porcupine Gorge National Park at Hughenden; and to deliver a Mount lsa/Camooweal to Lawn Hill/Riversleigh tourism masterplan.