Key industry stakeholders have attended the first of three major resource summits in the Bowen Basin.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas chaired the event attended by Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson and Queensland Resources Council’s chief executive Michael Roche.
Lucas said that among the key issues discussed were maintenance and funding for roads, environmental and social impacts of mining as well as conflicting farming and mining priorities.
“The information gathered during today’s summit will be instrumental in assisting the Bligh Government to understand and address the challenges faced by these regional communities,” Lucas said.
Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said the Bligh Government would work towards a solution that was in everyone’s best interests.
“Everyone’s got a stake in the long term sustainable development of the Bowen Basin. Our summits give key stakeholders a seat at the table. We want to hear what they’ve got to say and take their concerns on board,” Wilson said.
“This is about looking beyond the horizon and planning for the future of communities like Dysart, Moranbah and other mining towns. While we all enjoy the benefits of the resources boom, we won’t turn our back on communities at the coal face.
“There are two issues at stake here. One is the key economic driver of the state’s strong economy. The other is our most valuable resource – the people who live and work in mining communities.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche, said improvements in resource community infrastructure and services were critical to attract and retain employees, especially with forecast strong medium to long-term growth for the coal industry.
“This Summit has provided valuable community feedback to government and other stakeholders, and will link closely with activities being conducted through the Partnership Agreement, as well as other processes,” Roche said.
AgForce’s president John Cotter was also on hand at the summit to represent the State’s rural producers.
Cotter said there were significant issues relating to the interaction between farming, mining and exploration activity.
“Some recent progress has been made in resolving these issues and AgForce will continue working with the Government on the more complex aspects, including standardising compensation for affected producers and the protection of agricultural land for future food production.”
The next resource summit will be held in Dalby today.