The Queensland Government has appointed Stirling Hinchliffe as the new minister for employment, skills and mining.
Hinchliffe, the Labor member for Stafford, was given the position following QLD premier Anna Bligh’s reshuffle of her cabinet.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed him into the new role with QRC chief Michael Roche stating that Hinchliffe’s exposure to the mining sector through his previous position as minister for infrastructure and planning will stand him in good steed.
‘We see valuable synergies between his new skills and mining industry responsibilities given the worrying skills shortages confronting the resources sector, both in mining and gas,” Roche said.
However, it voiced its concern over the splitting of the resources ministry across three portfolios.
According to The Australian, coal seam gas, mining and energy are now spread to three different ministers.
“Looking to the medium term, given that the state’s mining and energy sectors directly and indirectly contribute more than 20 percent of the state’s output, and the synergies between the two sectors, we still believe that there is a strong case for a standalone mines and energy minister,” Roche said.