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Overview

Powerlink has been engaged by Genex Power Limited (Genex) to undertake a range of activities to investigate a 275kV electricity transmission line connection and associated switching station to connect Genex's renewable energy generation project at Kidston to the national electricity grid.

The Genex Clean Energy Hub includes establishing a combination hydro pumped storage, solar and wind power generation facility at Kidston, approximately 270km north-west of Townsville. Visit www.genexpower.com.au for more information.


Have your say

Powerlink is currently progressing Federal environmental approvals for the Genex Kidston Connection Project – Matters of National Environmental Significance under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.

Following the identification of some species and potential habitat listed under the EPBC Act in the vicinity of the proposed transmission line alignment for the Genex Kidston Connection Project, Powerlink referred the project to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DoAWE) for assessment to ensure our activities can be delivered in a way that effectively minimises environmental impacts. The initial public consultation period occurred in October 2021 for Powerlink’s referral of this project to DoAWE. We invited landholders and other stakeholders at the time to provide comments on the project and Powerlink’s referral for consideration under the EPBC Act. At the end of this consultation period, DoAWE classified the project as a ‘Controlled Action’, which means the project requires Commonwealth approval under the EPBC Act.

To progress with these approvals, Powerlink has prepared a report further examining environmental considerations and mitigation measures associated with the project. Under provisions of the EPBC Act, this report is called ‘Preliminary Documentation’ and was released for public comment between Monday 30 May to Friday 10 June 2022. This document is available on this project webpage or can be viewed at one of the following locations: 

  • Charters Towers Regional Council, Administration Centre, 12 Mossman Street, Charters Towers 
  • Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Customer Service Centre, 25 Lannercost Street, Ingham 
  • Etheridge Shire Council, Shire Office, 41 St George Street, Georgetown 
  • Greenvale Post Office, 2 Acacia Drive, Greenvale
  • State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Brisbane.

All submissions received are being considered in detail and will help to inform any changes which may be made to the ‘Preliminary Documentation’ report, which will be released in coming weeks for another round of public consultation.
 


Get involved

Powerlink is dedicated to working with principal contractor UGL to maximise local employment and procurement opportunities wherever possible for this project. 

Sub-contracting opportunities on the project include vegetation and access works, machine and equipment hire, cleaning services, waste management and recycling, and much more. 

Local businesses seeking to register their interest are encouraged to contact UGL's procurement manager:

Greg Edmonds
[email protected] | 0439 509 960

A series of sub-contractor drop-in sessions were held in Charters Towers, Ingham and Townsville in October 2021 and April 2022 to provide businesses the opportunity to meet the project team and ask questions about bidding for work on the project.  

In August 2021 Powerlink and UGL jointly hosted an online briefing for potential local sub-contractors to learn more about the project and opportunities for local businesses. Businesses from the Hinchinbrook, Etheridge, Charters Towers and Townsville region were encouraged to attend. 

The presentation and recording from the August 2021 briefing are available below.

 

In December 2021, we invited landholders, community members and other interested parties to speak about the MIDAR with the project team at community drop-in sessions in Mount Fox, Greenvale and Conjuboy. 

Collage of photos from the drop-in sessions

We remain committed to working closely with landholders and other stakeholders as this connection project progresses. No decision will be made about the final route for the proposed transmission line and switching station until all relevant approvals are granted. Activities relating to construction, expected to commence in around mid 2022, will involve additional engagement and consultation opportunities for landholders and other stakeholders. 


Status

The Ministerial Infrastructure Designation Assessment Report (MIDAR) for the Genex Kidston Connection Project was released on 22 November 2021 for public review and comment. The report was submitted to the Queensland Government’s Planning Minister for approval under the Planning Act 2016. The formal submission period for the MIDAR closed on 22 December 2021.

A copy of the MIDAR is available on this webpage. If you would prefer to receive a hard copy, please contact Powerlink on FREECALL 1800 635 369. The report is also available from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP) Infrastructure Designation webpage.

The MIDAR identifies the potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the project, and how those impacts can be mitigated or managed. It concludes that, based on the studies undertaken to date, provided Powerlink implements the recommendations outlined in the report and associated Environmental Management Plans, there are no social, environmental or economic factors that would prevent the connection project from proceeding.

The MIDAR was prepared following extensive engagement with landholders and other stakeholders, environmental and technical assessments, and a comprehensive review of the project’s Draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) which was released in September 2018. Since the Draft EAR was released there have been some changes made to specific steps within the process to seek planning approval the Planning Act 2016. Powerlink has worked with DSDILGP to understand these changes and impacts on the planning and approvals process. The revised process is detailed in our updated Network Development Process brochure, which highlights the steps required to re-examine the proposed transmission line alignment to ensure adequate consideration of the potential social, environmental and economic impacts from the project through an assessment report – the MIDAR.

The preferred alignment for the transmission line and preferred switching station location at Mount Fox are identified in the MIDAR. Most of the preferred alignment is the same as was shown in the Draft EAR, with some minor changes as an outcome of recent landholder engagement and technical investigations. 

Following execution of a Connection and Access Agreement in March 2021, Powerlink received the project’s 'Notice to Proceed'. This signalled the re-commencement of activities to formally progress the connection project, which includes working with landholders and other stakeholders to finalise a range of planning approval processes. Powerlink reactivated project planning activities, including engaging with landholders and other stakeholders about next steps, and undertaking remaining technical, environmental and cultural heritage assessment work.

The Draft EAR for the Genex Kidston Connection Project was released in September 2018, as part of the process to seek planning approval at that time under the Planning Act 2016. The report was developed following comprehensive engagement with landholders and other stakeholders at the time to understand likely property impacts and identify mitigation measures, as well as undertaking environmental and technical assessments. It concluded that, based on the studies undertaken to date, provided Powerlink implements the recommendations outlined in the Draft EAR and associated Draft Environmental Management Plans, there are no social, environmental or economic factors that would prevent the connection project from proceeding. The public consultation period for the Draft EAR concluded in November 2018.

In accordance with Infrastructure Designation requirements under the Planning Act 2016 at the time, public submissions on the Draft EAR were lodged to the Planning Minister. Powerlink thanks landholders and other stakeholders for their feedback on the Draft EAR, including those who made submissions on the report and attended our community information drop-in sessions during late 2018.

A copy of the Draft EAR is available on this webpage. If you would prefer to be sent a hard copy, please contact Powerlink on FREECALL 1800 635 369.

Since the Draft EAR release, there have been some changes made to specific steps within the Infrastructure Designation process. Powerlink has worked with the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to understand these changes and impacts on our planning and approvals process. 

Details

Northern

Renewables

In Progress

Map

Reports

Ministerial Infrastructure Designation Assessment Report

Draft Environmental Assessment Report - Appendices