THE Queensland Government should mirror key planks of the Western Australian Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan for the Sunshine State’s own economic revival, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
Mr Macfarlane said the WA Recovery Plan, launched by Premier Mark McGowan at the weekend, adopted many recommendations the QRC had already made to the Queensland Government, the Premier’s Queensland Industry Recovery Alliance and the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Government’s response to the COVID-19 recovery.
“The resources industry in Queensland, like WA, has been one of the very few sectors to keep our Queenslanders working and earning. We have kept the lights on during one of the darkest periods in Queensland’s history,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Like the industry in WA, the Queensland resources sector needs the State Government to help kick-start new projects with support for exploration, reduced assessment timeframes and exemption for affected mining tenement holders.”
In response to QRC’s 40-point Resource Industry Recovery Agenda, the Palaszczuk Government has increased funding for the Collaborative Exploration Initiative by $10 million.
“For the resources sector to do more, we need the Queensland Government to do more,” Mr Macfarlane said.
Specifically, QRC is seeking:
- Streamlined assessment and approval processes for new and expanded resource projects;
- A 10-year royalty freeze on all resource commodities to provide certainty, particularly for investments in new and expanded projects; and
- An Industry Development Plan with a commitment to work with the sector on its long-term growth and prosperity.
Premier Mark McGowan’s WA Recovery Plan states:
“The mining sector is the backbone of the WA economy and has played an integral part in keeping Western Australia in a strong economic position throughout the pandemic.
"The McGowan Government will continue to support mining exploration to build a pipeline of new activity to complement existing operations.
"Initiatives will include building on the industry’s understanding of the state’s geoscience, encouraging exploration activities and ultimately kick-starting new projects across Western Australia.
"Amendments to mining regulations will reduce assessment timeframes for exploration applications, thereby fast-tracking new opportunities.
"Changes to regulations will also allow mining tenement holders to apply for expenditure exemptions if they are able to demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their financial capacity to meet expenditure conditions of their leases.”
Link to the WA Recovery Plan: www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/WA_Recovery_Plan.pdf