The Queensland Government will fast track around a dozen key mining projects to create more than 1500 jobs in regional Queensland, Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson told MINING DAILY.
According to Wilson the State Government has targeted 11 key mining projects to be streamlined, getting the mines off the ground and into action.
“Mining companies around the world are shedding staff. What we’re seeing is the human face of the global economic crisis and the harsh reality that we are indeed in tough economic times,” Wilson said.
“Mining is important to Queensland and so are the 37,000 men and women who work in our mines. That’s why the Bligh Government is taking swift action. We want to do all we can to protect those workers and their jobs.
The Department of Mines and Energy will work with the Department of Natural Resources and Water, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, and other government agencies to identify areas of regulatory overlap and to streamline approval processes.
The Bligh Government has also fast-tracked $27 million from the Sustainable Resource Communities Fund for investments in key mining towns to stimulate regional employment.
Wilson said the State Government would continue to support displaced mining workers through its Rapid Response Teams and 1800 035 749 helpline.
“So far we have received nearly 350 calls to the helpline and have registered 175 displaced workers from regions including Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Emerald, Cairns, Mount Isa and south east Queensland.
“One of the key roles of the teams is to help workers identify their skills – to help them explore job opportunities in other industries and get them working again,” he said.