Doing What Matters: Miles Government breaks ground on nation-leading CopperString project

Published Tuesday, 09 July, 2024 at 01:11 PM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Doing What Matters: Miles Government breaks ground on nation-leading CopperString project
  • Miles Labor Government has today broken ground on the first construction works as part of the $5 billion CopperString project.
  • CopperString is an almost 1,000 kilometre high-voltage transmission line that will connect Mt Isa to the SuperGrid for the first time.
  • Supercharging the state’s North West will unlock the $500 billion North West Minerals Province and Hughenden renewable resources.
  • It’s expected CopperString will be complete in 2029, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Hughenden has officially become the heart of Powerlink Queensland’s CopperString 2032 project as construction commences on North Queensland’s largest regional development project.

Work has today commenced on the CopperString projects’ first and largest workforce accommodation site which will house those charged with building the 840km high voltage transmission line which will unlock world-class renewable resources and critical minerals.

ATCO Structures will deliver the workforce accommodation which is due to be completed by early 2025.

The workforce accommodation will house up to 550 construction workers at its peak. These workers will construct a nearby substation and progress early stages of the transmission line development heading west from Hughenden out to Mt Isa.

Construction includes site preparation and civil works, as well as installation and maintenance of accommodation quarters over the site’s five year life span.

Since acquiring the project, Powerlink Queensland has powered on with progress and recently announced the purchase of significant equipment critical to the delivery of the project, including shunt reactors, transformers and high voltage powerline.

A 100-strong project team has also been established, alongside Joint Venture partners UGL and CPB Contractors, with all detailed design on the transmission corridor well underway.

At a historic ceremony at Hughenden today, Powerlink was officially welcomed by Traditional Owners, the Yirendali People. This was the first time in more than 50 years some of the remaining Elders have returned to their Country, made possible by CopperString.

This is all part of Powerlink’s commitment to developing and building a lasting legacy for communities, businesses and industry along the transmission corridor for generations to come.

Commencing later this month, Powerlink will be offering free sessions for businesses along the CopperString corridor to build their capabilities.

The program includes five workshops and one-on-one assistance to help businesses build confidence to bid on major projects and supply chain work in the region.

The first workshop is in Hughenden on July 23, followed by Richmond on July 25. For more information and to register, either call 1800 635 369 or visit

Work on the high-voltage transmission line is due to commence mid-2025 from Hughenden, travelling west towards Mount Isa. Once complete, work will then commence on the Eastern portion of the line from Hughenden back to Townsville.

Construction on workforce accommodation at Richmond will commence in September 2024.

Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:

“Queenslanders deserve cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy – to power their homes, our schools, hospitals, shopping centres and more.

“That’s why my government is embarking on the biggest ever expansion to the state’s publicly owned energy system.

“CopperString will be the catalyst for transforming Queensland’s North and North West – opening up mining opportunities, creating more jobs and unlocking critical minerals which will be essential in developing renewable technologies.

“This is the start of a long and exciting future for the region and our state.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Cameron Dick:

“CopperString 2032 lies at the heart of Queensland’s economic transformation.

“By connecting the mineral wealth of our state’s north-west to Townsville’s manufacturing precincts and port, we are creating the opportunity for more Queensland minerals to be processed in Queensland, creating skilled jobs in new industries.

“We are also making it easier for industrial-scale renewable projects right across Queensland’s north to feed into the national grid, helping deliver more affordable, renewable energy.”

Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Mick de Brenni:

“CopperString is supercharging North Queensland jobs, industry and economic future, and today's ground breaking is a further demonstration of why having a plan for Queensland’s future really matters.

"The renewable energy transition presents the biggest jobs opportunity our state has ever seen, and with the majority of Queensland’s clean economy jobs based in regional Queensland, towns like Hughenden will be some of the first to benefit.

"We're powering ahead with this transformational project, and with the kick off of construction on workforce accommodation, Hughenden, and the Flinders Shire can look forward to a big boost in economic opportunity as the central hub for about 500 workers in clean economy jobs.

"The thousands of jobs and millions of dollars' worth of economic opportunities CopperString will deliver would be at risk under an LNP Government, whose only plan is to cut this project.”

Quotes attributable to Resources and Critical Minerals Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:

"All of North Queensland understands the immense opportunities that CopperString presents for local jobs both directly and indirectly which is why this is such a momentous day.

"CopperString will help unlock potentially $500 billion of critical minerals deposits in the North West Minerals Province.

"Critical minerals are the next big boom for the resources industry and the feedback I've had from companies is that this project is key to unlocking those opportunities.

"It's the Miles Government that is backing the critical minerals sector through CopperString and our $315 million Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy which will help support jobs in Townsville, Mount Isa and throughout the north."

Quotes attributable to Powerlink’s Chief Executive Paul Simshauser:

“CopperString will be calling Hughenden home for the next five years.

“This is a significant milestone for this project marked at a historic ceremony in Hughenden today, and is testament to more than twelve months of hard work to get the project to this stage by the CopperString project team.

“It was a personal highlight to see the meaning of being back on Country to the Yirendali People, a clear indication that our team are committed to respecting local communities and building a lasting legacy for generations.

“We are proud to be building the future of North Queensland, starting right here in Hughenden.”