Energy network projects fire up for jobs

A $67 million program of electricity works is back underway as COVID-19 restrictions ease, supporting more than 150 jobs in regional Queensland.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham told Parliament today that the state’s publicly-owned transmission operator Powerlink had fired up construction works across the Wide Bay and Central Queensland.

“Queensland has a plan for economic recovery with a $50 billion infrastructure guarantee,” he said.

“Critical infrastructure projects like these deliver local jobs as well as maintaining the reliable energy network that powers our state. “

The three projects are:

  • replace ageing primary plant and secondary systems equipment at the Nebo Substation

upgrades to the Calvale Substation and network reconfiguration

upgrades to the 150km Gin Gin to Woolooga transmission line.

“Recommencing these important projects and supporting jobs is a critical part of Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery as we face tough global economic conditions,” Dr Lynham said.

“The Nebo project will ensure this major hub in North Queensland’s electricity network continues to supply Mackay, nearby coal ports and the associated haulage network, and the Bowen Basin coal mining area.

“Works at Calvale will safeguard a reliable electricity supply to the Biloela, Moura and Blackwater areas and support mining and agricultural industries.

“And the Gin Gin to Woolooga line transfers power across the Wide Bay region, supplying Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie.”

Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said Powerlink remained committed to adapting work practices to meet COVID-19 requirements, with project crews looking forward to returning to site.

“Powerlink’s back to work plan safeguards the health and safety of staff, contractors and local communities, while continuing to effectively maintain and strengthen the performance of the transmission network,” he said.

“A range of controls have been implemented to keep Powerlink project crews COVID-safe, including changes to work methods to observe social distancing, regular cleaning of common touch points, risk assessments for travel, and comprehensive management plans with contractors.”

Queensland’s publicly-owned energy businesses will invest more than $1.8 billion on capital works in 2020-21, supporting nearly 4000 jobs.

/Public Release. View in full here.