The Commonwealth Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia provides a “vision for vast opportunity” for communities in the region, says Greg Lane, Deputy Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
According to Mr Lane, the document – which was released yesterday – acknowledges the resources sector as a “major pillar” in the growth of northern Australia.
“Initiatives such as cutting red tape and provision of enabling infrastructure are essential for opening up of as yet untapped mineral resources. Queensland’s north west features some of the strongest unrealised economic potential in Australia, with one of the most diverse mineral provinces in the world, as well as a number of resource projects in the Cape York region,” Mr Lane says.
“QRC is pleased the Commonwealth also envisages uranium resource development playing a key long-term role in developing northern Australia. Development of resources in northern Australia will provide much needed jobs, energy security and other infrastructure to remote communities in Queensland.”
Mr Lane also pointed out that the many challenges facing resource development in the region, including the lack of infrastructure and skilled workforce, as well as a number of regulatory hurdles.
“The paper itself identifies many of the challenges to be overcome. The region lacks much of the critical transport, electricity, water storage infrastructure, regulatory settings and skilled work force that southern Australia has long enjoyed. The critical ingredient is long-term consistent policy and political leadership for the people, businesses, communities and investment that will deliver this vision,” he says.
“The White Paper also reaffirms the future will build on the long history of coexistence between the resources sector and agriculture, and the essential enabling opportunities for indigenous communities. The Queensland resources sector as one of the key participants has a lot to offer and looks forward to working with governments and our northern communities on developing the nation’s next regional powerhouse of economic growth and prosperity.’
The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia is available at: https://northernaustralia.dpmc.gov.au/.