In light of recent budget cuts affecting a range of industries, a series of government reforms is set to offer timely assistance to Queensland’s vital mining and resources sector.
The Queensland government announced at the start of this month that it would be taking steps to “repair the state’s budget”, a move which has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). The government’s focal plan revolves around developing a formal program of leasing and selling state assets, which could both help reduce the state’s overall debt and cut down further job losses in the industry.
Michael Roche, chief executive of the QRC, said the government’s initiative would boost the state’s mining and resources sector in particular.
“The state government has made the right choice in resisting populist calls for job-destroying increases in resources sector royalties, instead proposing a program of leasing or sale of certain state assets,” he asserted.
Mr Roche revealed that Queensland’s coal industry alone has lost over 8,000 jobs and despite concentrated cost-cutting efforts, a quarter of coal produced in the state is done so at a loss. With many mines “at extreme risk of shutdown”, making the right asset sales and leasing decisions will be key to the sector’s future.
Meanwhile, Minister Andrew Cripps’ Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill is set to introduce a set of reforms that will increase the contribution of the sector to Queensland’s economy. Much of the Bill centres on a new framework to better manage coal and coal seam gas development.
“‘The development of a new overlapping tenure framework for coal and coal seam gas unlocks valuable resources by resolving competing development rights,” explained Mr Roche.
“Maximising the potential utilisation of coal and coal seam gas resources in Queensland means more investment, more jobs and more royalties to fund essential services and infrastructure for Queenslanders.”