CopperStrong project Queensland

Queensland breaks ground on CopperString Project construction

The Queensland Government has broken ground on the first construction works as part of the $5 billion CopperString Project. 

On 9 July, work began on the first and largest workforce accommodation site, which will house those charged with building the 840km high-voltage transmission line. 

Premier Steven Miles says this is the beginning of a long and “exciting” future for Queensland. 

“CopperString will be the catalyst for transforming Queensland’s north and northwest — opening up mining opportunities, creating more jobs, and unlocking critical minerals which will be essential in developing renewable technologies,” he says. 

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

ATCO Structures will deliver the workforce accommodation, which will be completed early next year. 

The government says the construction work includes site preparation and civil works, alongside installation and maintenance of accommodation quarters over the site’s five-year life span. 

CopperString project map

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni says by kicking off construction on workforce accommodation, Hughenden and the Flinders Shire can look forward to a boost in economic opportunities, as the central hub requires 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,” he says. 

Since acquiring CopperString, Powerlink Queensland has progressed and recently announced the purchase of equipment needed for delivering the project, including shut reactors, transformers, and high voltage powerline. 

A project team has been established, alongside joint venture partners UGL and CPB Contractors, with a detailed design on the transmission corridor underway. 

Powerlink CEO Paul Simshauser says “this is a significant milestone for this project marked at a historic ceremony in Hughenden today, and is a testament to more than 12 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,” he says. 

As part of Powerlink’s strategy, the company welcomed the traditional owners, which was the first time in over 50 years some of the remaining elders had returned to their country. 

Later this month, the company plans to offer free sessions for businesses along the CopperString corridor to build its capabilities. The program will include five workshops and one-on-one assistance to help build businesses’ confidence in bidding on major projects and supply chain work in the region. 

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Images: The Queensland Government 
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.