Premier backs Qld resources’ ingenuity with $2 billion jobs fund
11 June 2021
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement of a $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry “wholeheartedly” endorsed the Premier’s statement that developing the state’s resources sector is ‘no longer just about what’s below the ground but about harnessing the solar and wind above the ground and manufacturing renewables locally’.
Mr Macfarlane said the Premier’s expansive vision of the state’s resources sector to include all energy sources – new and traditional – is the right message to send global investors.
“Adding value to Queensland resources sector is the best way to drive new investment and jobs growth,” he said.
“The Premier’s announcement will supercharge investment in new Queensland opportunities for renewable energy, for hydrogen and for local manufacturing.”
Mr Macfarlane said reliable, low emission energy at a lower price is the holy grail for energy policy.
“Cheap, green, reliable energy makes value-adding to our mineral resources through concentrating, smelting and refining far more competitive,” he said.
“Affordable, reliable, green energy will also create opportunities to manufacture renewable technologies right here in Queensland.
“Adding value and manufacturing will drive investment in new projects, new skills and new jobs which is a recipe for long-term economic growth across the resources sector.
“This is great news for every Queenslander, because we know when the resources sector is doing well, so is the Queensland economy.”
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast a quadrupling of demand for the minerals required for clean energy technologies over the next two decades.
“Last year, Queensland produced 220,500 tonnes of copper – enough to make around 2.75 million electric vehicles – so the potential for this demand to grow by 400 percent is an incredible opportunity for Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Queensland has world class deposits of cobalt, copper, scandium, bauxite and vanadium, with opportunities emerging for other new economy minerals, so we are well placed to meet this future demand.”
Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) Chair Kim Wainwright also welcomed the Premier’s announcement that the State Government will work closely with vanadium companies to support a Critical Minerals demonstration plant in Townsville.
“Queensland is entering a golden new era of minerals processing and Townsville is right at the heart of the action,” Ms Wainwright said.
“Establishing a common user demonstration processing plant will accelerate the timeframe for when Queensland vanadium can be brought to market.
“Companies like Multicom and QEM are targeting vanadium in the Julia Creek area and will benefit from a common user demonstration processing plant.
“It’s great to see the Queensland Government supporting the resources sector, from exploration right through to manufacturing.”