A new $18 million power plant will be built on Palm Island, off Townsville, after being given the go ahead by the Palaszczuk Government.
Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said the construction of a new power station would bring a welcome boost to Palm Island’s businesses and community.
“We’re expecting significant economic benefits to come through worker travel, accommodation and local spending,” Mr Pitt said.
“I met with Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey at the Indigenous Leaders Forum last fortnight and agreed that doing nothing was not an option, so the Palaszczuk Government is stepping up to secure the island’s power supply for the future.
“The new diesel station will be designed and built as ‘renewable energy ready’ to accommodate possible future innovations or investments, such as potentially constructing a solar farm nearby.”
Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the current power station was more than 30 years old and wouldn’t meet the community’s electricity needs into the future.
“Palm Island is a growing community and this new power station with a future option to add solar will secure a reliable power supply and underpin the local economy,” Mr Bailey said.
“Ergon Energy considered a number of options for long-term electricity supply for the island including an option to run an undersea cable from the mainland.
“However this was ruled out due to the high capital cost, environmental concerns and changing technology.”
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to ensuring that Indigenous communities are getting the funding they need for housing, health, education services, and for community safety.
“Construction of the power station is expected to commence towards the end of this year and take 18 months to complete,” he said.
A tender for the new generators will be released in coming weeks.