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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Infrastructure Plan drives development of Northern Economic Triangle

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Infrastructure Plan drives development of Northern Economic Triangle

    The State Government’s plan to create a new economic and industrial force in northern Australia took another step forward with today’s release of the Northern Economic Triangle Infrastructure Plan 2007- 2012.

    Premier Peter Beattie said the plan contained 31 separate strategies and 122 individual actions to drive economic development in the Triangle linking Townsville, Mount Isa and Bowen.

    “The Triangle is a new economic frontier and this infrastructure plan will help position the region as a future economic hub for minerals processing, industrial development and horticultural production,” Mr Beattie said.

    “It will also support important objectives such as Indigenous employment, sustainable rural communities and investment in new industries across the mining, minerals processing, agriculture, food processing and other sectoral developments.

    “We have consulted widely with industry and local government on this plan which details short and medium term initiatives that will help us achieve our long term vision for massive industrial development in northern and north western Queensland.

    “The infrastructure plan is an active, working document. It gives us a snapshot of initiatives that are already underway for new ports development, transport initiatives, water infrastructure and industrial estates. But it also highlights areas where the private sector can show initiative and take the lead,” Mr Beattie said.

    Mr Beattie said there were enormous opportunities for private enterprise to invest in energy infrastructure in the Galilee or Surat Basins to meet future demand for energy in North Queensland.

    “Since investigating potential for future growth as part of the Northern Economic Triangle initiative, we know that demand for energy will be especially strong in North Queensland,” Mr Beattie said.

    “Demand is such that a 1000 Megawatts of low-cost base load power station capacity with the potential to expand to 2000 Megawatts could be connected into this region to help drive economic development.

    “The major demand centres of northern and north western Queensland have the potential for substantial new investment in minerals processing activities which require bulk quantities of economically priced energy.

    “There are vast quantities of steaming coal which should be able to be produced at a low cost to miners, especially in the Galilee and Surat Basins. In addition, natural gas and coal bed methane have continued to increase their role in the energy mix and these resources will also play an important role as fuel and feedstock for industry.

    “We are looking for private enterprise to seize this opportunity and develop commercially viable, economically priced and efficient power generation that integrates the latest in low emission technology.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Anna Bligh said the infrastructure initiatives detailed in the plan would underpin private sector investment in new minerals processing and other industries over the next 50 years.

    “The plan highlights the Queensland Government’s commitment to find collaborative solutions for industry’s energy, transport, water and land needs to provide for this industrial growth,” Ms Bligh said.

    The infrastructure plan is a follow up to the Northern Economic Triangle Blueprint, an election commitment which was delivered in December 2006.

    Ms Bligh said strong support for the initiative was confirmed during the consultation that has occurred since the Blueprint was released.

    “We have secured the support of industry and industry groups to move forward with delivering the Northern Economic Triangle,” Ms Bligh said.

    “The strategies and actions will be met through the collaborative efforts of the Queensland Government, local councils, industry and peak industry bodies.

    “Already we have completed major planning works with the Ports Corporation of Queensland for increased coal exports through Abbot Point. We have also worked collaboratively with Townsville Port Authority to develop a 25 year Port of Townsville Master Plan.

    “Another major development in planning for Townsville’s future is the completion of the Townsville City–Port Strategic Plan. This plan will provide a shared vision for an effective and sustainable interface between Townsville’s port area and the adjacent city area.

    “In addition we have intensified discussions with energy providers and distributors for the provision of competitively-priced power to the region. Planning has also been conducted for Bowen which provides a concept for the development of land at Abbot Point for major industrial purposes.

    “SunWater is developing the Water for Bowen project which could supply up to 60,000 mega litres per annum of water from the Burdekin River to support future industry and substantially increased horticultural production.”

    Copies of the infrastructure plan are available on the Department of Infrastructure website at www.infrastructure.qld.gov.au.

    Media contact: Premier’s office 3224 4500

    Deputy Premier’s office 3224 4379