A 30-year plan for Queensland’s resources industry proposes to fast-track new economy minerals production and processing, trigger new regional industries, and cut red tape to drive new projects and jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week released the draft Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan outlining measures to transform the state’s resources sector by 2050.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Queensland had the resources below the ground that the world needed to build clean energy systems, combined with the renewable energy above the ground.
Stewart continued: “Queensland has the minerals that will be needed for a decarbonised economy and for building renewable energy systems, which means more regional jobs.
“Global demand for these minerals will enable a new wave of regional industrialisation as we mine, process and manufacture what the world needs to tackle climate change.”
The draft plan proposes measure to drive new economy mineral development such as the development of a Queensland battery industry strategy, commercialising abandoned mines, investigation potential rent deferral for new economy minerals projects, and more international marketing of potential new economy mineral projects to investors.
It also suggests the continuation of the government’s successful Collaborative Exploration Initiative to help explorers find more potential deposits.
This builds on the government’s backing of at least $10 million towards a demonstration processing plant in Townsville – announced yesterday, the plant would support miners in attracting further investor interest and future sales agreements.
It also includes a review of objections processes, red tape reduction and measures to ensure a diverse, skilled workforce into the future.
Stewart added: “Our government is committed to working with industry to reform processes to provide greater certainty for investment.
“The Queensland Law Reform Commission will review objections processes in consultation with the community and the terms of reference will be developed in consultation with the Commission and stakeholders.
“Our government will continue to work with industry to invest in skills and training to ensure existing and new workers can seize [job] opportunities.
“We will establish a working group with the resources industry and unions to develop a workforce plan for the sector.”
“My vision for the next 30 years is for a resilient, responsible and sustainable Queensland resources industry that grows as it transforms.
“I am looking forward to talking to Queenslanders over the next couple of months to finalise a plan that will create more jobs across more regions.”
The draft plan has 43 actions that address six key focus areas:
• growing and diversifying the industry;
• strengthening ESG credentials and protecting the environment;
• fostering coexistence and sustainable communities;
• ensuring strong and genuine First Nations partnerships;
• building a safe and resilient workforce; and
• improving regulatory efficiency.
It is open for consultation until February 2022 with the final plan due for release in mid-2022.