Outback Queensland covers a vast area of the state’s west, including the regional centres of Mount Isa, Barcaldine, and Charleville. It is home to a strong history of agriculture, minerals, commercial industry, and the workers and families who live there. It has an abundance of natural resources, including new economy minerals, and renewable energy in the form of wind and solar.
Outback Queensland’s resources have contributed greatly to the prosperity of our state, and with the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, we are working to ensure this prosperity continues well into the future. This means securing investment that delivers opportunities as part of the renewable energy transformation.
With a rich history of agriculture and minerals operations, Outback Queensland already has skilled workers who operate machinery, manage the land, and provide services for workers and communities in remote areas. The renewable energy transformation will create demand for these skills and others over the next decade, including:
- identifying and evaluating mineral and renewable resources
- best practice operation of mineral processing and refining, particularly for new economy minerals
- installing and maintaining battery energy storage systems.
Investment in the region
Outback Queensland is home to more than 100 megawatts (MW) of large-scale renewable energy projects. Since 2015, more than $300 million has been invested in operational renewable energy projects, creating around 300 jobs.
Over the longer-term, an estimated $1.1 billion is expected to be invested in Outback Queensland to build additional electricity infrastructure up until 2040.
Capturing economic opportunities for Outback Queensland
Outback Queensland will play a key role in delivering clean, reliable, and affordable power— in the form of hosting new renewable generation, and by providing key minerals to enable this transformation.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has flagged Outback Queensland as a vital area for renewable energy capacity, identifying two possible zones for development— Barcaldine, and the North Queensland Clean Energy Hub.
In Mount Isa, new opportunities will develop in locating and extracting the region’s critical new economy minerals like copper and vanadium. These minerals will be used to manufacture renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels and battery systems.
The key function of the Plan is to maximise the flow on opportunities for local companies that provide essential services, including accommodation, manufacturing, and training.
Additionally, the Queensland Government is now developing the $5 billion CopperString 2032 project. The project will establish a high voltage transmission line to Townsville, connecting the people, businesses and communities of Mount Isa, Cloncurry and the North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Grid. This will unlock Australia’s largest renewable energy zone, roughly 800 construction jobs, and more than $500 billion dollars in new critical minerals in North Queensland.
To find out more about what’s happening in your region, subscribe to the mailing list for information on rebates, schemes and programs near you.
- Last updated:
- 4 August 2023