Mackay Set to Be the Home of Renewable Energy Training

Queensland will take a major step towards training and re-skilling the future work force for the renewable energy sector with the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Queensland Hydro and the Mackay-based Resources Centre of Excellence (RCOE).

Queensland Hydro’s two pumped hydro projects are the cornerstone of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, announced last year by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, with the 2,000 MW Borumba project (near Imbil, west of the Sunshine Coast) and the proposed 5,000 MW Pioneer-Burdekin project west of Mackay playing a vital role in the transition to renewable energy systems across Queensland.

The RCOE was established to connect the brightest minds in research, technology, education and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) to shape the resources sector of the future.

A core part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is to champion future sector jobs in the renewable energy sector, ensuring training and employment opportunities are available. This MOU between Queensland Hydro and RCOE will help support that objective. 

As it works through the various stages of exploration, investigation and approvals for its two projects, Queensland Hydro is laying the foundations for work force of around 2,000 workers which will be needed during the construction phase.

Quotes attributable to Julieanne Gilbert, Member for Mackay 

“The Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project is a long-term game changer for the Mackay region as the largest infrastructure project in Queensland’s history, and it’s exciting to see that the benefits from the Queensland Hydro project continue to flow to our region. 

“The collaboration between Mackay’s Resources Centre of Excellence and Queensland Hydro, which also has an office based in Mackay, is a massive boost for local jobs and will ensure that the workforce for the renewable sector is trained and ready for the challenge of these new projects.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack 

“Queensland Hydro is delighted to announce this important partnership with the Resources Centre of Excellence which is a source of world-class knowledge, skills, innovation and training for the sector.

“We want as many workers as possible on our projects at Pioneer-Burdekin and Borumba to come from Queensland and from within the energy sector. For those looking to transition into roles in the energy sector, we want to be able to support them with the right opportunities for skills and training.

“This MOU covers a range of goals and project outcomes around the areas of training, innovation and research and development and is one of many ways in which Queensland Hydro is supporting the ambitions of the QEJP by ensuring our local workers are well placed to take advantage of the employment opportunities flowing from the Pioneer-Burdekin and Borumba projects.”

Quotes attributable to Steven Boxall, CEO of Resources Centre of Excellence 

“The team at the Resources Centre of Excellence is very excited to bring this MOU and collaboration to life after many months of discussion. I believe the RCOE is the ideal partner for Queensland Hydro as being based in Mackay, we’re ideally placed to help facilitate the transition from traditional energy sector jobs to the new clean, green energy sector.

We have the skills, expertise and first-class facilities with a training platform to work with Queensland Hydro to ensure their future work force has access to a range of innovations for traditional jobs and the skills training to prepare them for Queensland Hydro’s major projects.”  


6 October 2023