Queensland has plans to become Australia’s leading exploration state, according to a report released today by the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Exploration (MACE), despite falling levels of investment in the exploration industry worldwide.
MACE was formed by Natural Resources and Mines minister Andrew Cripps in October 2013, in order to provide feedback from industry on Queensland’s exploration performance and guide direction for repositioning the state as the best-performing exploration jurisdiction in the country.
Cripps spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Queensland Exploration Council, and said that the Newman Government was working with the resources sector to deliver on its election promise to grow resources as a pillar of the Queensland economy.
“I thank the committee for helping identify ways Queensland can attract more exploration investment and promote sustainable growth of our mining and petroleum & gas sectors,” he said.
“The Newman Government has a strong plan for a brighter future and we’re committed to ensuring Queenslanders enjoy the benefits of the resources sector for generations to come.
Cripps said the resources sector employs tens of thousands of people, providing livelihoods for families now and promises to support jobs into the future.
“That’s why we’re working with the sector to position Queensland as the best-performing exploration jurisdiction in Australia and to identify how we can improve the way we do business to make this happen,” he said.
“We are committed, through our ResourcesQ partnership with industry, to develop a 30-year vision and action plan to grow a robust resources sector that will continue to deliver significant economic benefits for Queensland communities.
“We realize Queensland’s resource potential starts with exploration, which is critical to discovering the new resources that will drive future mines and energy projects.”
The report has recommended a number of measures to stimulate investment in Queensland exploration, including making land available for exploration, assisting geoscientific studies, building on existing and new incentives for greenfields exploration, developing more flexible regulations, and cutting exploration costs.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies CEO Simon Bennison said he supported the report to Government released by MACE.
“Queensland now has an opportunity to promote itself as a destination for exploration investment,” he said.
“By showing support for the exploration sector, the Queensland Government is investing in a strong and prosperous future for the state’s mining sector.
“This will provide jobs and investment, and Government revenue streams for the benefit of all Queenslanders.
“The MACE report has provided direct recommendations to the Minister to support the industry in Queensland.
“It is not only vital that the regulatory system be world class, but that the Queensland Government heed the advice of MACE and remove the financial and administrative barriers to exploring in Queensland.”