Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has turned her attention to promoting the State’s phosphate sector after a week of increased pressure to allow uranium mining in the State.
Bligh said that phosphate is North West Queensland’s future, following a meeting with Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan and phosphate miner Legend International Holdings this week at the Premier’s Brisbane offices.
“There is a lot of hype about uranium mining in Queensland, but it might be decades away – if at all,” Bligh said after the meeting.
“I went to this year’s poll with a clear position and that won’t be changing. This is now. There are six times as many jobs on offer here with the one project. Let’s get on with it.”
Legend International plans to begin mining up to 1 mtpa at its D-Tree phosphate mine, 125 km north of Mount Isa.
It plans to ramp up production to five mtpa by 2012.
Across the country, WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has promoted the earning potential of uranium mining.
Last week, Mega Uranium and its Japanese investors signed an official joint venture, with Mega Uranium expected to have WA’s first operational uranium mine up and running by late 2011.
Last week the Federal Government showed signs of dissatisfaction that the Queensland Government is refusing to follow party policy and allow uranium mining in the State.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the Labor Party’s policy on uranium mining was made clear at the national party conference in 2007.
“We had a big debate over what was then described as the three mines policy; I put forward a proposal to change the policy, and the policy changed,” he said.