The global verdict on Queensland is not pretty despite the state’s mineral prospectivity being ranked ninth out of 71 jurisdictions, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
The Fraser Institute’s annual survey of global mining provinces placed Queensland below Botswana in the rankings as a preferred destination for new mining investment.
Roche said that Queensland was now ranked behind South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales as a desirable Australian jurisdiction for mining investment.
“Yet, in the midst of a state election campaign, the major parties have had nothing to say about their plans to boost Queensland’s resource sector standing,” he said.
The Fraser Institute’s annual global survey of exploration companies analyses the relative importance of geology versus policy. It asks the question: ‘Is it easier to explore in provinces with good policy than to fight to change policy in highly prospective jurisdictions?’
“If our policies were seen as matching the quality of our geology, Queensland would be a global top 10 destination for exploration investment,” Roche said.
“That investment would keep explorers in the field and in business.
“Unfortunately, Queensland’s policy ranking sees the state drop to 25th position on the global index, which is led by Canadian and US jurisdictions.
“In the race to secure investment, Queensland’s policy deficiencies mean that we fall 16 places back in the global queue.
“We cannot afford to let other jurisdictions leapfrog Queensland.”
Roche said the Fraser Institute findings demanded an immediate response from the major parties contesting the Queensland election.
“The ALP and LNP need to spell out their plans to boost investment in the sector providing 20 per cent of the state’s wealth and one in every eight jobs in Queensland.”
“In particular, we are waiting with bated breath for the parties’ public response to the QRC’s election policy agenda, provided to the ALP and LNP in December 2008.”
The policy agenda threw out the challenge to the ALP and LNP to implement policies that would lift Queensland to the top ranked Australian state in the Fraser Institute survey by 2011.