Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Another milestone in North West energy project

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    Another milestone in North West energy project

    The $1.5 billion CopperString project, which would be a huge boost to Queensland’s North West, has moved another step forward with the release of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

    Premier Anna Bligh today invited public comment on the study which is open for feedback until 7 February 2011.

    The CopperString project involves construction of about 1028 km of transmission line including:

    ·A 720km high voltage main line between Townsville and the North West Queensland electricity supply system, via a new connection near Cloncurry.

    ·Additional 210 km of transmission lines and substations to connect remotely located major energy users to the line near Cloncurry

    “This line would plug the North West Minerals Province into the national electricity grid providing reliable, competitively priced power to the region,” Ms Bligh said.

    “That would be a huge plus for both mining companies and Mums, Dads and families.

    “This vast province is one of the most significant base and precious metal mining regions in the world, with production in 2007-08 valued at $7.5 billion.

    “But it has been held back by its limited access to energy.

    “It is estimated the transmission line could contribute $1.27 billion in economic benefits and more than 7,700 direct and indirect jobs,” Ms Bligh said.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said the project would also assist the development of renewable energy.

    “Renewable energy projects including wind, solar and geothermal across the entire Mount Isa to Townville corridor could supply electricity to both the region and the National Electricity Market.

    “CopperString is one of a number of energy infrastructure options currently being considered by major energy users in North West Queensland, and is part of a customer-driven, competitive process facilitated by State Government.

    Member for Mt Isa Betty Kiernan said the project could play an important role in the region’s future.

    “This is a further vital step in the process and I encourage all interested residents and stakeholders to have their say,’’ Ms Kiernan said.

    “This project could meet the energy needs of the North West Mineral Province and aid the development of renewable energy for the future.’’

    Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd and CuString Pty Ltd have formed CopperString Pty Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), to jointly develop the project.

    If the project proceeds, it could create up to 750 construction jobs and 30 ongoing operational jobs.

    If approved, construction could begin towards the end of 2011 and connect near Cloncurry in late 2013, with a number of construction teams working concurrently on the linear infrastructure.

    Coordinator-General Graeme Newton said the project would only be approved if he was satisfied that the proponent’s EIS satisfactorily addressed and managed all impacts.

    “The project requires a rigorous EIS to consider the potential environmental, cultural and socio-economic impacts on the local community,” Mr Newton said.

    “The release of an EIS recognises the complexity of a project, the substantial benefits it may bring and the need to carefully assess its environmental impacts and how they could be mitigated if the project was approved to proceed.

    “I invite the community and stakeholders to view the EIS and provide their comments before I assess it. This is an important stage of my independent assessment process.’’

    The EIS can be viewed online at www.dip.qld.gov.au/projects, at www.copperstring.com.au or by visiting:

    EIS display locations

    Ayr - Burdekin Shire Council Customer Service Centre

    145 Young Street, Ayr

    Brisbane - State Library of Queensland
    Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane

    Canberra - National Library of Australia
    Parkes Place, Parkes, Australian Capital Territory

    Charters Towers - Charters Towers Regional Council Administration Building

    12 Mosman Street, Charters Towers

    Charters Towers City Hall

    70 Mosman Street, Charters Towers

    Cloncurry - Cloncurry Shire Council Chambers

    19-21 Scarr Street, Cloncurry


    Hughenden - Flinders Shire Council Chambers

    34 Gray Street, Hughenden

    Julia Creek - McKinlay Shire Council Chambers

    29 Burke Street, Julia Creek

    Mount Isa - Mount Isa Customer Service Centre

    23 West Street, Mount Isa

    Proserpine - Whitsunday Regional Council Customer Service Centre

    52 Main Street, Proserpine

    Richmond - Richmond Shire Council Chambers

    50 Goldring Street, Richmond

    Townsville - Townsville City Council Customer Service Centre

    103 Walker Street, Townsville

    86 Thuringowa Drive, Thuringowa

    All submissions must be in writing and received by the Coordinator-General by 5pm Monday 7 February 2011.

    Submissions can be sent to:

    The Coordinator-General

    EIS Project Manager: CopperString project

    Significant Projects Coordination

    Department of Infrastructure and Planning

    PO Box 15009

    City East Qld 4002

    Email: copperstring@dip.qld.gov.au

    Fax: +61 7 3225 8282

    For more information on the EIS process, please contact the Department of Infrastructure and Planning on copperstring@dip.qld.gov.au or (07) 3405 3436.

    Media: 07 3224 4500