Qld govt pins hopes on new mines

QUEENSLAND Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson held talks on Wednesday with the Queensland Resources Council and union representatives on plans to cut red tape, speed up project approvals and create jobs.
Qld govt pins hopes on new mines Qld govt pins hopes on new mines Qld govt pins hopes on new mines Qld govt pins hopes on new mines Qld govt pins hopes on new mines

Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson

Blair Price

“New mines mean new jobs,” Wilson said. “Not only that, local communities and businesses rely heavily on the money spent by mining companies and their workers.

“We have targeted 11 key mining projects that we can get up and running by cutting through red tape.

“If we streamline the process, we'll be able to create more than 1500 construction jobs in the regions.”

Neither Wilson’s department nor the Queensland Resources Council would specify to International Longwall News which projects were targeted under the state government’s plan to fast-track project approvals.

Given the downturn in commodities, ILN understands not all companies involved in the 11 targeted mining projects could be in the position to proceed with new development on economic grounds.

A recent example can be seen with the state government approval of the $3.8 billion Gladstone Pacific Nickel refinery.

While Acting Premier Paul Lucas went on the record saying it would create 2000 jobs during construction, Gladstone Pacific still needs to make the financial decision to go ahead with the project, and BHP Billiton has since closed its Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Western Australia, costing close to 2000 jobs.

More details on the plans to cut red tape have not been released by the state government at this stage.

Meanwhile, Wilson said displaced mining workers would continue to get support through the state government’s Rapid Response Team and 1800 035 749 hot line.

Job cuts in the state’s mining sector have resulted in nearly 350 calls to the helpline.

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