Qld confidence slumps

A QUEENSLAND Resources Council survey has shown that confidence in the state's regulatory environment is at a near five-year low, as the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham spoke of
Qld confidence slumps Qld confidence slumps Qld confidence slumps Qld confidence slumps Qld confidence slumps


Lau Caruana

The QRC survey also revealed that 44% of CEOs said that costs such as infrastructure charges, royalties and other taxes and charges were somewhat of significantly more expensive in Queensland than in other jurisdictions.

QRC CEO Michael Roche said compared to a year ago, the latest findings revealed a stark change in the confidence of the CEOs confidence about regulation and doing business in Queensland.

“This time a year ago after a change of government in Queensland our sector deemed it business as usual for the resources sector, but in the space of 12 months a lot has changed,” he said.

“While the Labor government's commitment to royalty stability for its first term of government is welcome there has been anything but stability elsewhere in the regulation of the sector.

“Our sector has been the target of a raft of regulatory changes – some enacted – and many more proposed – therefore it’s little wonder the resource leaders’ sentiment has substantially changed.”

“One of the biggest issues facing our sector is that in recent years the sector has been loaded up with significant increases in local government rates and this came to the fore in the comments from the sector bosses.”

Lynham said the Palaszczuk government recognised the impact of low international commodity prices on the industry.

“International markets are beyond the control of any individual government, but there are things we can and are doing to assist the industry and the communities it supports," he said.

“We are fulfilling our election commitment for a royalties freeze. We have the lowest payroll tax in the country and we are investing heavily in innovation. We have given explorers a 50% reduction in the expenditure that they have to commit to their mineral exploration permit.

“This will provide some relief while the market recovers, and importantly, will keep explorers investing in Queensland which is vital for the long-term health of the mineral sector.”

Lynham said investment activity was continuing in Queensland, despite weak commodity prices.

“It’s certainly tough, but it’s not all gloom and doom,” he said.

“Rio Tinto is investing $A2.6 billion to develop one of the world’s largest bauxite deposits at Weipa, with an average construction workforce of 600 people over three years. Adani has its mining leases for the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine, rail and port project.

“MMG has prescribed project status to cut red tape and hopes to get its $1.4 billion Dugald River zinc project into production mid-year up in the northwest.

“And in more good news for the northwest, Korella phosphate mine is ready to move to commercial production of up to 600,000 tonnes of phosphate per annum."

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