Terra Search managing director Simon Beams, with Shadow Minister for Northern Queensland and Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dale Last. Picture: CAITLAN CHARLES
Terra Search managing director Simon Beams, with Shadow Minister for Northern Queensland and Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dale Last. Picture: CAITLAN CHARLES

Call to give resource sector a helping hand

BURDEKIN MP Dale Last has called on the State Government to support the resource exploration sector with a tenement rental freeze.

Mr Last said the resources sector provided a large portion of the money that goes towards building schools, hospitals and roads but the state was at risk of that money drying up due to coronavirus.

"In both South Australia and Western Australia the state governments have frozen tenement rentals and work program commitments for explorers so they can hang on and be ready to identify new resource projects as we come out of the pandemic," Mr Last said.

Terra Search managing director Simon Beams said the resource exploration business had been significantly affected by COVID-19.

 

He said there was a lot less exploration happening at this time, which was usually the busy time of the year.

"Normally, we have about 30 people going in the field in North Queensland and 30 in Western Australia … now we have about 10 in Queensland, with a few of them in the office," he said.

But Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the State Government was in talks about how to help the resource sector through the pandemic.

"There is no doubt that the minerals resource sector will be a huge factor when it comes to us emerging out of COVID-19 and the impact it has on our economy," he said.

 

Letter from Dale Last, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines

LABOR must act now to save resource jobs

Queensland's resources exploration industry needs support from the Palaszczuk Labor Government to discover the state's next wave of job-creating resource projects and to provide the infrastructure needed throughout the state.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) fears for the future of resource jobs in Queensland and I share their fear!

Small exploration companies have been finding it increasingly difficult to work in Queensland and COVID-19 has turned a difficult time into a crisis. Many of these companies are having to reduce staff as they struggle to stay afloat.

Mining exploration is essential to the development of the future mining projects that Queensland desperately needs.

Without explorers we won't have the mines that create thousands of jobs and pay the royalties that build new schools, hospitals, roads and fund extra police.

Currently, South Australia and Western Australia are providing a temporary freeze on exploration tenement rentals and work program commitments to support their explorers. Queensland Labor, however, is considering more royalty hikes that will cost jobs.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to follow the lead from the other mining states and urgently support our mining exploration companies.

It's completely unreasonable to expect companies to pay rent on something they can't access.

The LNP is proud to support resource exploration in Queensland and the projects, and jobs, that exploration provides. That is why we promise a 10-year royalty freeze to give investment certainty.

The resource sector is crucial to the long-term economic prosperity of Queensland and exploration should be seen as the fundamental building block to the ongoing development of this sector. Queensland explorers are just asking for a fair go so they can survive and develop jobs and mines for Queensland's future.


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