Townsville Enterprise have provided a formal submission to the Queensland Government under the Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Bill 2023, acknowledging key actions to be undertaken as Townsville North Queensland moves to cement itself as a green manufacturing hub.
Following this week’s $137M Federal Government hydrogen announcement, secured under the North Queensland Hydrogen Consortium, and the critical role the North and Northwest Queensland will play in Queensland meeting its Renewable Energy Targets (RET), recommendations under this Bill are deemed as crucial in delivering the state’s ambition to reach Net Zero.
Townsville Enterprise CEO Claudia Brumme-Smith is one of four witnesses invited to provide formal recommendations in a public hearing to be held in Townsville on Thursday, and says North Queensland is the epicentre of the renewable energy and green manufacturing transition with the best solar, wind and critical mineral resources in the country.
“We welcome the Queensland Government’s commitment to own and construct the CopperString project, which will enable the delivery of this renewable power to mines, manufacturing industries and communities across Queensland. However, there are critical steps that are needed to be taken to ensure success,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.
“Townsville Enterprise presents crucial recommendations to the Committee for consideration, acknowledging the key role this region will play in the state’s Renewable Energy Targets (RET).”
“The Hughenden region, recognized for its exceptional wind and solar energy resources, is estimated to generate approximately 35GW of renewable energy, is sufficient to meet the Queensland Government's RET on its own, so recommendations from this region should be taken seriously.”
This Bill has been developed to enshrine the key enablers as law to deliver the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.
Townsville Enterprise have provided the following recommendations to the Committee:
- The streamlining of all levels of government approvals processes for large-scale renewable energy generation and transmission infrastructure projects to maximise investment attraction and remain globally competitive. In addition, coordinating and streamlining social infrastructure outcomes between large projects will support regional communities and ensure that long term legacy outcomes will be generated at the least cost.
- The delivery of generation and transmission infrastructure in Renewable Energy Zones and the subsequent ability to deliver on the Queensland Government’s renewable energy targets will be highly dependent on the capacity of transport infrastructure to enable construction.
- The Queensland SuperGrid Infrastructure Blueprint should be updated within the first year of being released to reflect the updates to the current transmission projects and timelines to include Copperstring, with biennial reviews from this date (including Copperstring)
- The Committee notes the significant requirement for gas to play a role in providing firming power in support of renewable energy targets and the benefits provided by the re-purposing of fugitive emissions into productive energy generation.
Perhaps most pressing, is a narrowed focus on road and rail infrastructure, which Townsville Enterprise have already identified as a potential hurdle as growth in high-load demands from critical minerals, refining and renewable projects continues in North and North West Queensland.
“The anticipated surge in freight demand, driven by CopperString, new wind and solar initiatives, critical mineral mining, and refining projects, poses a considerable challenge to the current state of the Flinders Highway and could potentially jeopardise these billion-dollar developments – this needs to be addressed urgently with an end-to-end infrastructure audit to ensure the highway is fit for purpose.”
“The Flinders Highway is one of the most important national economic freight routes in the country and currently it is not on the infrastructure priority list of the State and Federal governments.”
To download the full submission, visit townsvilleenterprise.com.au