In the wake of a “horrible year” for the Queensland mining industry, the state’s peak mining body has called on the sunshine state to improve investor confidence in the mining and exploration sector by re-evaluating policy affecting its reputation and attractiveness.
The Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche told the Australian Copper Conference in Brisbane yesterday that Queensland’s in the last three years, the state’s international rating as a mining and investment destination has plummeted 30 places, from eight to 38th.
Roche said some politicians would dismiss the Canadian Fraser Institute annual survey as a ‘poll’, but it would be a mistake to do so, as perceptions often become reality in the investment community.
“2010 was a horrible year for policies affecting the attractiveness and ease of exploration in Queensland,’ Roche said.
“We had sweeping changes that complicated land access for explorers, the continuing roll-out of the Wild Rivers policy was extended by legislation to the Lake Eyre Basin, there was the threat to billions of dollars of resource projects from mooted strategic cropping land legislation, and just this week the unprecedented legislation cancelling Sibelco’s mining leases on North Stradbroke Island.
“Such interventions to curry favour with narrow sectional interests are unnecessary and dangerous.”
Roche said the state is well equipped to make decisions on the mining industry and changes may be counter-productive.
EExisting environmental legislation in Queensland operates under the tried and tested principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and is well able to weigh up the environmental, social and economic issues associated with any proposed resource project.
“The QRC will continue to encourage the government to have faith in its own environmental impact statement process that has served the industry, the community and the environment well.
Roche has also called on the state government to boost funding in the state budget for the Geological Survey of Queensland to increase the state’s bank of pre-competitive geo-science date to encourage explorers to consider Queensland projects.
Earlier today, the NSW Minerals Council said the Federal Government has overlooked the state for funding in infrastructure and roads.
Image: The Brisbane Times