2008-09 worst year for fatalities since 1996

Three out of four Queensland fatalities caused by proximity detection failure.

Louise Wallace

The Queensland mining industry is welcoming yesterday’s State Budget with open arms for injecting a $19 million boost to the resources sector.

Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the funding represents the importance of a strong mining sector in order to secure Queensland’s ongoing economic prosperity.

“The Bligh government is acutely aware of the challenges facing the mining sector and the impact of the global economic downturn on jobs,” he said.

The Queensland government will invest nearly $12 million in exploration grants through the Smart Mining-Future Prosperity program, as well as $3.86 to identify and evaluate potential sites to store carbon dioxide.

Four million dollars will also be used to construct of a new drill core storage facility in Mount Isa, which is set for completion by early 2010.

Robertson said the Budget funding will provide more opportunities that could lead to new mines, cut greenhouse gas emissions and provide jobs for the future.

“Importantly, today’s exploration means tomorrow’s projects and jobs,” he said.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) agrees with Robertson and expects Queensland’s mining sector will receive a significant boost from infrastructure spending.

“There is every evidence the Government is going to maintain the momentum of the infrastructure program, particularly for the resources sector,” QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.

Roche is also welcoming the Treasurer’s decision not to increase mining royalties, which he expects will be “well down on last year”.

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