QRC ready to work with Government, new Minister, to help Qld recover from COVID
1 November 2020
The Queensland Resources Council is ready to get to work with the re-elected Labor Government and its new Mines Minister to deliver on a Resources Industry Development Plan to help Queensland recover from COVID.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said today the Plan, which Treasurer Cameron Dick endorsed prior to the election campaign, was a blueprint for the growth of the coal, metals and gas sectors to supercharge Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
He said Labor’s re-election as a majority government was great news for the resources sector and negated the impact of the Greens, whose anti-mining policies would have shut down the industry and put thousands of Queenslanders out of work.
Prior to the election the QRC had secured bipartisan support for the Resources Industry Development Plan on behalf of the state’s explorers, producers and suppliers.
Mr Macfarlane said the Plan and other commitments from the Government included agreement to:
- implement an industry development plan to support the sector’s future growth
- encourage exploration to uncover new discoveries for coal, metals and gas
- commit to a 12-week consultation period on regulatory changes that may impact on the sector
- streamline assessment and approval processes for new and expansion projects
- promote the development of the North West Minerals Province, particularly for the critical minerals to support the growth of advanced manufacturing, battery storage and renewable energy
- progress the CopperString project in the State’s North West.
Mr Macfarlane said the latest economic contribution data showed the mining, gas and energy sector was supporting 420,000 jobs–one in six jobs–across Queensland and has been a bedrock of financial support and stability for the state economy during COVID-19.
“In the lead-up to the election, the QRC received the most comprehensive set of election commitments from major parties the resources industry has seen in more than two decades,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The resources industry – which contributed $82.6 billion in the past financial year to the state economy plus $4.5 billion in royalties – looks forward to working closely with the next government to secure our state’s long-term economic and environmental wellbeing by producing, working and earning our way out of COVID.”
Mr Macfarlane said receiving a commitment from the new government that it will not increase royalty rates during its four-year term remained a priority for the resources sector.
“The Labor Government has previously committed to a three-year freeze on royalties for coal and metals and five-year freeze on gas, and costings for its new four-year term do not include any changes to royalties, but the QRC is looking forward to the government’s confirmation of its plans,” he said.
“Stability on royalties is critical for our sector because it gives companies the confidence to invest more, employ more and export more.
“All Queenslanders benefit from a strong state economy and the jobs that flow from that, and as the resources sector has already demonstrated since the outset of the pandemic, our industry is crucial to helping Queensland recover from COVID.”
Mr Macfarlane said the QRC will also ask the new Palaszczuk Government to act against the use of continuous court appeals, which prevent mines that have received all relevant State and Federal Government approvals from proceeding.
“First cab off the rank must be to give the green light to New Hope’s New Acland Stage 3 mine project and to secure the 600 jobs that come with that,” he said.
Media contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893