THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has called on the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to commit to establishing its newly announced $23 million Australian Future Mines Centre in Queensland, if elected.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced the planned centre during the recent Minerals Week in Canberra.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the announcement and called on the ALP to commit, if elected, to basing the centre in Queensland, "given the state’s resources diversity and prospectivity".
“Queensland is a resources superpower for Australia. Our sector employs 316,000 people in towns and cities and adds $62.9 billion to the state’s economy,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“It makes sense to establish a hub for resources technology, skills development and research here.
“We have well developed coal, LNG, bauxite and zinc industries. The untapped reserves of our powerhouse commodity, coal, were recently revised up to 63 billion tonnes," he said.
“But we also have prospectivity in a range of commodities, including critical minerals that will also build our future.
“And we have one of the world’s most significant exploration areas in the North West Minerals Province.
“The Labor Party’s proposal for an Australian Future Mines Centre could assist in increasing exploration in new resources and new reserves," Mr Macfarlane said.
“However, any investment in exploration must go hand in hand with a commitment to transparent and consistent regulation, streamlined with the EPBC Act where appropriate.
“There is little point in investing in exploration if new projects then stall through excessive red tape, lawfare, or inconsistent regulations," Mr Macfarlane said. In previous statments, the QRC has called out both Federal and Queensland Governments on stalling projects such as the Adani Carchichael Coal Mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin, for stifling economic investment and putting jobs on hold in the region.
“QRC also welcomes Mr Shorten’s $2 million commitment to encourage young Australians to study mining engineering," Mr Macfarlane said.
“Our resources sector is one of the building blocks of our economy. A strong resources sector benefits all Australians.”