Construction is underway at Mount Isa on the Queensland end of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline.

Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, turned the first sod at Mount Isa on the Northern Gas Pipeline with the project’s builder, leading Australian energy company, Jemena.

Dr Anthony Lynham said the project was already generating jobs and business opportunities in the North West – which is why the Queensland Government had thrown strong support behind it.

“This pipeline project is already filling paypackets in North Queensland, with more than 200 Queenslanders employed by Jemena to date, and 26 contracts awarded to companies in Queensland, with half of these contracts in the Mount Isa region,” Dr Lynham said.

“I am particularly pleased to see Jemena’s focus on hiring local people, including local Indigenous people, through training and employment programs delivered in partnership with a local Indigenous training organisation.

“As well, accessible, affordable gas is critical as a feedstock for manufacturers and as an energy source.

“That’s why our government has supported this project from the start, and that’s why I personally met with the Northern Territory Government advocating for the pipeline to come to Queensland.”

Dr Lynham welcomed the news from Jemena that they were already looking into continuing the pipeline from Mount Isa to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub in the south-west.

“This means more jobs for Queenslanders in construction,” Dr Lynham said.

The Northern Gas Pipeline will run 622km from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Mount Isa, with 141km of the pipeline in Queensland between the Isa and the border.

Construction is due to be completed in mid-2018, with the first gas scheduled to flow later that year.

Dr Lynham said the pipeline milestone was more good news from Queensland for east coast gas users.

“The pipeline extension under investigation will help connect gas fields in the Northern Territory to the east coast market, adding to supply to help ease current supply concerns.”

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