Katter and TEL call on PM to fund NQ infrastructure in coal price cap deal

Dec 15, 2022

Katter and TEL call on PM to fund NQ infrastructure in coal price cap deal

Dec 15, 2022

POWERING North Queensland should be a priority following the “energy deal” struck between the State and Federal Governments which will lead to additional Commonwealth funds for Queensland infrastructure projects.  

It is understood the Queensland Government is expecting additional Federal funding for two pumped hydro power stations and a ring road in Rockhampton, in exchange for agreeing with the Prime Minister to cap coal prices at $125 a tonne.   

Meanwhile, the CopperString Townsville to Mount Isa transmission line would open North Queensland and Australia to a world of new-age metals and minerals and is awaiting construction with conditions and costings approved.   

“We have the world’s biggest vanadium deposits and we’re not producing an ounce; to open up this vanadium, required for your suburban solar batteries – this requires CopperString,” Mr Katter said.   

“The nickel-cobalt plant at Lansdown (near Townsville), requires CopperString.  

“The massive lithium deposits at Georgetown, require CopperString.   

“The (proposed) Hughenden wind farm, requires CopperString.”   

Mr Katter said he would continue pushing for Hells Gates Dam, the Hughenden Irrigation Project and an extension of the Tully hydro power station – all of which would require CopperString’s transmission lines.   

“So if we want to go into new-age metals and new-age energy, which the governments constantly speak about in their energy plans, you must build CopperString,” Mr Katter said.  

Townsville Enterprise CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith said CopperString was the most advanced electricity project in the country and it needed State and Federal Governments to support the decarbonisation of industries now.    

  “There is no transition without transmission. The CopperString project connecting Townsville to Mount Isa needs to be prioritised to open the $740 billion of untapped critical minerals along the North-West corridor and enable the supply of green energy for advanced manufacturing, hydrogen production and green mining” Mrs Brumme-Smith said.  

 “CopperString is the key enabling transmission infrastructure that is absolutely integral for the green energy industrial revolution ahead of us.”  

Speaking on the decision to cap coal prices, Mr Katter who had previously warned the Prime Minister against such a move said while he respected the leader’s “good intentions” to honour election promises including $275 electricity bill reductions, he could not understand why a Reserve Resource Policy (RRP) was not being introduced.   

“When I was electricity minister in Queensland, we maintained the household price at $674 for 11 years. The environmentally misguided ‘missiles’ blew up the price to over $3000.   

“Almost all of Queensland’s electricity came from the then biggest power station in the world at Gladstone, with a RRP the coal was actually free. The power station was paid of within seven years, so the only charge was a bit of labour, maintenance and replacement.”