The election promises are flying thick and fast in South Australia, with the incumbent Labor government proposing to build a world-class resources precinct at Tonsley Park.
The precinct will include relocating the State Drill Core Library, a project worth $32.2 million, as well as building an “Onshore Petroleum Centre of Excellence”, and a further $4 million for a “Mining and Petroleum Centre of Excellence”.
There is another $4 million earmarked for a new sealed airstrip at Innamincka in the Cooper-Eromanga Basin.
The government has also proposed to defer royalty payments for unconventional gas, in order to accelerate investment and job creation in the sector, and to establish a “Regional Mining Infrastructure Taskforce” to guide planning and development of rail, road, port, water and electricity assets for supporting the expansion of the resources sector in South Australia.
In a twist typical of pre-election revelations, the Liberal party has released a document, said to be leaked from Cabinet, which could undermine the costings for the new core library.
The new election promises come after the South Australian Chamber of Mining and Energy (SACOME) released a statement last week, that the premier Jay Weatherill and opposition leader Steven Marshall failed to demonstrate their understanding of the need for investment in the resources sector.
SACOME acting chief executive Jonathon Forbes has applauded the initiatives.
“It is pleasing to see two of SACOME’s key election priorities of a new drill core library and the continuation of of the PACE (Plan for Accelerating Exploration) program be taken on board,” Forbes said.
“We now call on the Liberal Party of South Australia to also commit to the building of a new Drill Core Reference Library, match or improve the funding for PACE, and commit to policies to address key industry needs in line with their acknowledgement that business growth will build this state’s economy.
“We have lamented the fact that neither side of politics has publicly discussed the importance of one of the few industries to make a significant contribution – and potentially far more – to the State’s economy.
“It’s great to see these policies and commitments that will help grow the mining and energy sector.”