Opposition’s lithium push welcome but Federal funding needed to charge battery plant

Date published: 29 April 2019

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill has welcomed the Opposition Leader’s election commitment to increase investment in underground mapping for minerals exploration in North and North West Queensland.

The Federal Opposition has committed to re-establish a $75 million program to use cutting-edge technology to create underground maps to find mineral deposits – particularly lithium.

Cr Hill said any support for the lithium sector could pay major dividends for Townsville, with the plan for a $2 billion lithium-ion battery plant to be built in our city progressing well.

“This lithium-ion battery plant – being proposed by the Imperium3 consortium – will create up to 1000 direct jobs and position our city as a leader in advanced manufacturing,” Cr Hill said.

“Importantly, the boom in lithium-related products such as batteries will create other opportunities for Townsville for mining exploration and services companies as well as transport and logistics firms.

“Townsville has always been a key services hub for the mining sector and the North and North West regions present huge rewards for companies willing to invest to find the next significant deposit of minerals – particularly lithium.”

However, Cr Hill said she was disappointed neither side of politics had committed to invest in headworks infrastructure and access improvements to the precinct near Woodstock to facilitate the development of the battery plant, DriveIt NQ and related industries.

“It’s extremely important for our community that both sides of politics commit to investing in catalytic infrastructure to support advanced manufacturing in Townsville,” Cr Hill said.

“A $50 million investment into headworks infrastructure and access improvements at the site near Woodstock has the potential to charge the city’s economy for decades and revitalise Townsville’s manufacturing industries – a key priority of the City Deal.

“The lithium-ion battery plant will also anchor a smart precinct for other advanced manufacturing firms and high-tech processing industries.”