Friday, 14 August 2020

Queensland has been abundantly blessed with natural resources, especially in the North West Minerals Province, but high power prices are stifling our ability to access them.

$680 billion worth of proven reserves exist in this region, and in order for Queensland and Australia to develop and financially benefit from these reserves, key infrastructure must be built.

The CopperString power project is an infrastructure requirement because currently crippling electricity prices mean that only the highest world trade prices allow for emerging industry resources to be developed in this country.

Critical minerals such as copper, zinc, and vanadium, are all present and their development results in jobs, pays for apprentices and skilled trades training, and the royalties pay for schools, hospitals and roads through the Queensland state budget.

The CopperString project connects established and emerging energy providers and will see significant electricity cost reductions for mining, manufacturing, agriculture and residences. It is critical that this project is developed in the national interest.

Another significant piece of infrastructure in the region is the Cloncurry Rail Loadout Facility.
This “inland port” will provide open rail access to junior miners in addition to those established players.

Access to rail provides a long-term solution for increasing commodity movements on the already pressured regional roads network across to Townsville.

I support all infrastructure development that allows us to better exploit our natural resources for the prosperity of Queenslanders now and into the future.

Finally, I would note that Covid shutdowns have demonstrated our reliance on offshore processing. It is vitally important that we continue to smelt and process our minerals in Australia.

To achieve that, cheaper power prices are essential, and CopperString is a key element in this aim.

I am making regular and strong representations to our Federal Government to ensure such infrastructure is supported.