RECOVERY PLAN: QRC says the state government should mirror WA’s response in mapping out the sunshine state’s own economic revival. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd
RECOVERY PLAN: QRC says the state government should mirror WA’s response in mapping out the sunshine state’s own economic revival. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd

Resource industry urges govt to copy WA recovery plan

QUEENSLAND should copy key elements of the WA Government's COVID-19 recovery plan to map out the sunshine state's own economic revival.

That's according to Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane, who has ramped up calls for the State Government to commit to its resource industry recovery agenda.

Mr Macfarlane said the WA Recovery Plan, which Premier Mark McGowan launched at the weekend, adopted many recommendations the QRC had already made to the government.

"The resources industry in Queensland, like WA, has been one of the very few sectors to keep our Queenslanders working and earning," he said.

"We have kept the lights on during one of the darkest periods in Queensland's history.

"Like the industry in WA, the Queensland resources sector needs the State Government to help kickstart new projects with support for exploration, reduced assessment time frames and exemption for affected mining tenement holders."

Mr Macfarlane noted the government had increased funding for the Collaborative Exploration Initiative by $10 million, adding: "For the resources sector to do more, we need the Queensland Government to do more."

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QCR is seeking streamlined assessment and approval processes for new and expanded resource projects, a 10-year royalty freeze on all resource commodities and the creation of an industry development plan.

 

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane. Picture: Jerad Williams
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane. Picture: Jerad Williams

This would include a commitment to work with the sector on its long-term growth and prosperity.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham did not respond to questions about whether the state government intended to meet the QRC's requests.

He said $20 billion had been invested in resources projects under the government's watch, creating 7000 jobs.

"As part of Queensland's economic strategy to recover from COVID-19, we have added to our existing support for the industry with a $10 million-plus booster pack to supercharge exploration and support mine technology innovators," Dr Lynham said.

"Departmental officers are also working with individual companies affected by COVID-19 to make their tenure conditions more flexible.

"The first of those exploration incentives will be awarded this week."

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Some of the government's recent initiatives to support the industry and jobs include exploration concessions during the global mining downturn, thousands of hectares of land for gas exploration and an annual exploration program.