A $50 million overhaul starts at Stanwell Power Station next month, bringing a major boost for Central Queensland jobs and local accommodation providers.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is the region as part of her government’s plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, said the two-month overhaul of one of the station’s four generating units would create 150 local Central Queensland jobs.
“As we emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, our focus is creating jobs and getting our economy back up and running,” the Premier said.
“We are committed to delivering our infrastructure investment of more than $50 billion over the next four years which means projects like and the whole supply chain it supports keep people in work.”
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said a further 450 specialist workers will be needed from other parts of Queensland, interstate and overseas who will undergo standard testing and quarantine requirements.
“Stanwell has also introduced extra COVID-safe measures including thermographic cameras to check people’s temperatures and extra cleaning of meeting rooms and lifts, as well as social distancing and hygiene campaigns aimed at workers,” Dr Lynham said.
“Overhauls are major projects that require specialist skills and workers, and all of those people coming while adhering to our health advice will need accommodation, meals and entertainment on their days off in Central Queensland.”
Related article: Queensland backs Barcaldine as renewables powerhouse
Local MPs Brittany Lauga and Barry O’Rourke welcomed the shot in the arm for local businesses – and the strict COVID-safe measures developed for the 1460 MW power station with Central Queensland Health.
“The Palaszczuk Government is 100 per cent focused on our economic recovery and rolling out our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs,” Ms Lauga said.
“Part of that is building on our strengths like our efficient, modern and – most importantly – publicly-owned fleet of coal-fired power stations.
“I know Stanwell has put a lot of work with CQ Health into a COVID-safe plan to protect the people on the job and our local community.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the overhaul created work for welders and boiler makers, mechanical and electrical tradespeople, technical engineering specialists, riggers, scaffolders and cleaners.
“I know the people of Rocky will welcome this injection into our local economy,” he said.
Related article: AEMC announces demand response rule change
“By the time work starts, we’ll be moving towards Stage 3 of recovery and our restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, movie theatres and other businesses will be welcoming these new customers and their spend over the following two months.
“And the overhaul means our publicly-owned power station will continue to deliver safe, reliable power supply to our publicly-owned electricity network.”
Capricorn Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Mary Carrol said the work was ‘critically welcome’, with accommodation providers across the Capricorn region currently recording less than 10 per cent occupation.
“In a time where businesses are truly struggling, this economic boost to our region is just what we need,” she said.
“These contractors will stay in local hotels, buy food from local restaurants, spend their day off checking out the beauty our region has on offer from Rockhampton to the Capricorn Coast and Southern Great Barrier Reef.”
Work starts 5 July and continues until 5 September. Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity companies – Powerlink, Ergon, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo – will invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs.