Resources sector key to economic recovery

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps

Resources sector key to economic recovery
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps has committed to rebuilding investment certainty and cutting red tape for Queensland’s resource sector.

In a keynote address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) forum in Brisbane today, Mr Cripps forecast a more responsive, practical State government approach to resource industry issues.

“There is no doubt that sustainable growth in the mining and gas industries will be a key driver of Queensland’s much-needed economic recovery, particularly in regional areas,” said Mr Cripps.

“A sector that earns $40 billion or 15% of Gross State Product annually, and provides 58,000 full-time jobs, will be critical to reining in Queensland’s massive budget deficit.

“The LNP’s challenge will be to strike a policy balance that supports growth in the resources sector yet respects the environment and ensures the broader community shares in the wealth generated.”

In its fi rst 100 days the Newman Government has announced the new Gasfields Commission headed by John Cotter and progressed a number of infrastructure projects supporting the resources sector through the Co-ordinator General.

“The Gasfields Commission and a fine-tuning of land access laws will clear up the confusion created by the previous government which preferred to create ‘policy on the run’ for industries like coal seam gas,” said Mr Cripps.

The Minister said the LNP’s Statutory Regional Planning (SRP) process will also deliver greater certainty to both the community and resource companies, especially in areas like the Darling Downs and Golden Triangle of Central Queensland.

“SRPs will ensure local stakeholders, including resource companies, will have greater input into regionally-appropriate development, and replace controversy with clear planning,” Mr Cripps said.

The Minister also restated the LNP’s commitment to cutting red tape by 20 per cent and restoring Queensland’s international investment reputation.

“Work has already begun on a bill to modernise and streamline the approvals process applying to resource projects, to cut unnecessary red tape and improve the timeliness of Departmental decisions.

“This will help drive economic growth, restore our international investment reputation and make it easier to do business in Queensland.”