Push for mining skills centre in Tasmania

Tasmania may soon be a national mining centre as plans are put forth to make it a resources training hub.

It comes as the Government's Benefits of the Boom Committee travels the state, according to the Tasmanian Mercury.

Senator Doug Cameron has been one of the main proponents of the establishment of a National Mining and Engineering Skills Hub in Tasmania.

"Tasmania has had a long history of engineering excellence and it has a long history of mining," Cameron said.

"We think that one of the benefits that could be brought about for Tasmania is to establish a training centre in Tasmania for the mining and engineering industry."

Cameron went on to say that the hub should be funded by the industry itself, as well as receiving support from the Federal, Queensland, and West Australian governments.

It comes after a recent Commsec report labelled Tasmania as the worst performing region in the country and was a good candidate to receive redistributed funds from the mining boom.

"Tasmania is under-performing other state and territory economies and arguably is the number one candidate of any regional income redistribution as the Federal Government seeks to share the benefits of the mining boom across the broader Australian economy," it said.

Cameron added: "Why shouldn't the mining billionaires and the mining industry provide some support for a state which is providing them benefits with no practical benefits coming back?"

Tasmania has recently refocused on the viability of its mining industry.

Tasmanian minister for energy and resources Bryan Green said the “importance of mining and mineral processing industries to Tasmania should not be underestimated.

"The industry contributes more than 40% to the State’s gross export income,” Green said.

However "the value of the mining sector is not as widely appreciated in Tasmania as it should be".
Speaking at the Tasmanian Minerals Conference in Launceston, he pointed to a growth in minerals exploration as a "bright light on the State’s economic horizon".

Cameron added that "they mine more varied resources in Tasmania than the rest of the nation put together".

No timeline was given for the creation of a skills hub on the island. 

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