The Federal Government is beginning to show signs of dissatisfaction that the Queensland Government refuses to follow party policy and allow uranium mining in the State, Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Michael Roche told MINING DAILY.
Roche is referring to comments made this week by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about the Government’s uranium policy.
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.
According to Roche, Rudd’s comments were clear in their intention.
“The Prime Minister indicated the Federal Government’s preparedness to see an expansion in uranium mining,” he said.
“Clearly there is a frustration that Queensland is dragging the chain among Labor states.”
The Federal Government’s frustration with Queensland comes as Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will today announce a $110 million Japanese-led joint venture to develop a uranium mine at Lake Maitland in Western Australia (WA).
The WA Liberal Government reversed the State’s long held ban on uranium mining when it came to power in 2008.
Roche said that a policy change in Queensland will not simply come from the Government changing its mind.
“The QRC has done the research State-wide and we know that there is overall good support for uranium mining,” he said.
“A policy change in this area is not going to be led by Government, it may need to come from the community.”