Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review

QUEENSLAND deputy premier Jeff Seeney will chair a special cabinet committee to examine the impacts of government regulation on the mining industry in a determined bid to lower the industry's cost structures.
Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review Qld Deputy Premier to head mining cost review

Queensland Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney.

Lou Caruana

Treasurer Tim Nicholls, who announced the establishment of the Resources Cabinet Committee in yesterday budget, and four other key ministers will form the committee with the deputy premier.

Seeney said they would examine the entire regulatory environment to assess its cost impacts on mining companies.

"The committee's review of red tape would provide a once in a generation opportunity to address regulations that miners believe hinder their efficiency," he said.

"This group of senior ministers will examine every regulation facing the coal industry and test them to ensure the value they add is equal to the impost they put on our economy.

"I personally have been a long time champion of the coal industry and I know that government regulation adds significantly to miners' costs.”

These costs can act as a disincentive that must be taken into account when companies are considering expansion or initial investments, Seeney said.

"The Newman government wants to remove disincentives wherever possible.

"We will ruthlessly examine the effects of government regulation on mining, which is so vital to the Queensland economy.”

The Queensland mining industry contributes heavily to the economy providing tens of thousands of jobs directly and more indirectly and millions of dollars a day in taxes and royalties to government, Seeney said.

"We are the world's largest coal exporter and the coal industry is critically important to this state,” he said.

"It is important to all of us that we do what we can to ensure our mining sector is highly efficient and not constrained unnecessarily.

"We can't afford in today's international economic climate to load industry up with layer upon layer of regulation."

"Instead we must create a positive investment climate by streamlining the regulatory environment and offsetting any negative impact from increased costs the sector may face.”

Seeney said the red tape review showed the government's commitment to the mining sector and its determination to support its sustainability and further development.

"Through hearings and meetings the resource sector - companies, individuals and industry representatives - will be invited to detail their views on problems and put forward solutions to the Resources Cabinet Committee," he said.

The Resources Cabinet Committee will report back to the full Cabinet within 100 days on proposals to reduce approval times, cut red tape and lessen the regulatory burden.