The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the appointment of Member for Townsville Scott Stewart as the new State Minister for Resources.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Mr Stewart has been a strong and familiar voice for the resources sector who recognises that the value of mining and gas industries spreads widely across Queensland.
In May, Minister Stewart told State Parliament: “The Queensland mining industry is a major contributor to the state’s resource exports and a significant source of employment, as we know.”
“I had the opportunity to congratulate Scott on his elevation to Cabinet today and assure him of the QRC’s commitment to work closely with him and his Cabinet colleagues to strengthen the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.
Mr Macfarlane met with Mr Stewart and expressed how much the QRC and its members looked forward to working with him and the Government on the joint initiative for a Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan.
“This Plan will be a joint effort, between industry and the Government, to chart future growth, future jobs and future opportunities in the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The Government and the QRC, as Queensland’s peak body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and their suppliers, announced the Plan would focus on:
- targets for industry growth
- responsibly unlocking resources
- capitalising on opportunities from clean energy to lower power costs
- ways to assist explorers discover the next deposits, through future rounds of the existing Collaborative Exploration Initiative
- opportunities to continue advanced processing of resources in Queensland
- opportunities to grow the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector in line with the Government’s 10-year METS Roadmap and Action Plan
- ensuring best practice environmental protections and rehabilitation, based on the landmark financial provisioning laws and continuation of the abandoned mines program
- working with communities to maximise the resources sector’s contribution to their economic and social well-being
- review regulatory processes to ensure they are streamlined and any regulatory change of material impact will be subject to a 12-week consultation process consistent with the Government’s Office of Best Practice Regulation Guidelines
- facilitating access to Queensland’s network of common user ports, rail lines and electricity infrastructure.
Mr Macfarlane said the QRC looked forward to working with Minister Stewart to develop and deliver the Resources Industry Development Plan.
“To demonstrate that shared commitment, today I invited the Minister to arrange as many mining and gas site visits as his schedule allows,” he said.
Prior to entering State Parliament in 2015, Mr Stewart was principal of Pimlico State High School, which is one of 80 secondary schools involved in the industry-led and State Government-supported initiative, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful school-industry partnership initiative. The Academy’s programs and experiences broaden student and teacher knowledge of the resources sector and provide a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a strong focus on female and indigenous students.
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