The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has called for establishment of a north-west economic zone, aiming at the cabinet jobs committee visit to Mt Isa today.
CEO Michael Roche, who also co-chairs the North-West Minerals Province Taskforce, said the region was one of the most heavily affected by the commodities downturn, needing a “collaborative effort” from local, state and federal government to “keep its engine running until the sector recovers”.
“The north-west is a melting pot of untapped opportunity but it is faced with unique challenges, including distance and infrastructure,” Roche said.
“It’s going to take a combined effort between local, state and federal governments to ensure this region not only survives this challenging time, but is in prime position to thrive during the next upturn.”
“The Queensland government yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to bring about projects that will deliver regional jobs, bolster infrastructure and grow the economy and tomorrow’s meeting in Mount Isa is an opportunity to act.
“The establishment of a special economic zone, jointly supported by local, state and federal governments, would provide an enormous fillip to the north-west region.”
The North-West Minerals Province Taskforce has said a new economic zone could include government incentives for investment such as accelerated investment allowances and examine possible relief in other areas, such as payroll tax, royalties and stamp duty.
The region contains contains around 11 per cent of the world’s known lead and zinc reserves, five per cent of the world’s silver resources and 1.5 per cent of the world’s copper reserves as well as major phosphate and uranium deposits.