Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration

THE Queensland government says it will boost the state’s skilled migration intake and help mining exploration projects get off the ground.
Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration Queensland govt aims to improve skilled migration

Queensland Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney.

Staff Reporter

Last financial year, Queensland sponsored only 212 work visas, while 22,247 state-sponsored places were filled nationally, said state Treasurer Tim Nicholls.

"We will also engage with the commonwealth government to increase our business visa allocation places," he said.

"Under Labor, Queensland has fallen behind other Australian states and today has some of the most onerous criteria for state-sponsored visas."

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said mining exploration arrangements known as "farm-ins" would be exempt from paying transfer duty.

"A farm-in is where the holder of an exploration permit offers another party a stake in the tenement in exchange for undertaking or funding some or all of the exploration activities," he said.

"This 2012-13 budget initiative will support smaller mining operators, and Queensland's exploration industry more broadly, to help grow this vital sector of the economy.

"This decision is a massive win for industry bodies, including the Queensland Resources Council, who wrote to government requesting such a concession."

Seeney said a cabinet committee would be established to lower the regulatory burden and help mining companies reduce their operating costs.

"This government is aggressively tackling over-regulation and clearing project approval backlogs," he said.

Nicholls said some industry bodies were unhappy with the government’s decision to increase royalties, but the revised regime would ensure rates would increase only when coal prices increased.

"We have structured the mining royalty changes to ensure there is no impact on mines producing low value coal,” he said.

"The state royalty will be creditable against the (minerals resource rent tax) under existing Australian government arrangements.

"The government guarantees that coal royalties will not be increased again in the next 10 years."

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