Isa outage proves CopperString’s case

Apr 23, 2021

Isa outage proves CopperString’s case

Apr 23, 2021

KAP Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has responded to a major power outage affecting the greater Mount Isa region today, arguing that it could have been avoided if the CopperString 2.0 (CopperString) transmission line was built.

“This power station going down proves conclusively, for anyone that still holds any doubt, that we need at the very least and alternative, but we need a cheap, reliable, competitive source of power,” he said.

“I was electricity Minister in Queensland when the Government fell in 1990 and it was in this time I became familiar with the workings of electricity production. You have relay circuits, so you never ever depend on a single power source or a transmission line.

“If you have to depend on the Mount Isa Power Station, you’ve only one source of power and you cannot operate a multi-million-dollar mining operation on the basis of a single power station. Now with CopperString and the power station, you have got a guarantee that this will never occur again because the chances of the transmission line and power station being out at the same time is virtually nil. So we will have secure power.

“But this outage presents a fantastic argument for CopperString which will provide Mount Isa with all its peak load power and there is going to be a terrible, terrible fallout if the $1200 million isn’t being loaned and invested by the federal government.

“Where on earth will you find a safer and better investment than that transmission line with $7,000 million export earnings coming in from the mines in the region!?

“We’ve got tremendous possibilities for this region but with the expensive power costs at present, we can’t go anywhere,” he warned. 

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the outage was one side effect of Mount Isa’s power supply monopoly, which came about following the closure of the aged 218MW gas-fired Mica Creek Power Station in January.

He said the building of CopperString 2.0’s common-use energy infrastructure was now more important than ever.

“If we were connected to the national power grid – like most other parts of the state – this outage would never have happened,” Mr Katter said.

“CopperString 2.0 will deliver the reliability to us that all other communities in Queensland enjoy, and will prevent us from having to continue paying some of the highest energy prices in the world.”

Mr Katter said untold economic and employment opportunities were being lost each year due to the North West Minerals Province not being connected to the NEM.