INDEPENDENT Member for Kennedy Bob Katter attended an International Renewable Energy Conference in Melbourne on Thursday.

He joined the Mount Isa Townsville Economic Zone (MITEZ) development group and CopperString in promoting the Northern Australia Clean Energy Corridor.

The corridor will link one of the world’s richest mineral provinces to the national electricity grid via an 800km high-voltage transmission line.

The line will be intersected by a series of clean renewable energy power stations (fuelled by solar energy, wind, prickly acacia woody weed, hydro-electricity and sugar cane fibre) at Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Pentland, Hells Gates, Ingham and Tully.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard wasted no time after forming government to confirm support to the corridor by announcing a range of funding for the project.

Mr Katter said he travelled to the Melbourne conference to support a paper presented by McKinlay Shire Mayor Paul Woodhouse and help promote the fiscal and environmental benefits from the long-awaited project.

“We also had meetings, organised by Mount Isa MP Betty Kiernan, with the Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier, and we emphasised to them the necessity for speed,” said Mr Katter.

“There’s nearly $700 million sitting on the table at present but you just don’t know for how long.

“Whilst the Liberal Party is committed to the project, it’s not as simple as that. I won’t be sleeping peacefully until work has started and that money is in a bank account,” he said.

Mr Katter said the conference addressed by Mr Woodhouse was attended by hundreds of stakeholders from Australia and overseas.

“Everyone involved in renewable energy in Australia was in the audience,” he said.

Source: AuSES.