Government and industry join forces to tackle North West issues

Published Wednesday, 25 November, 2015 at 04:17 PM

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Government and industry are teaming up to tackle the impact of the current commodity price slump on North West Queensland communities.

Announcing a North West Minerals Province Taskforce, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was committed to supporting families and businesses through the current resource industry challenges.

“My Government is keenly aware that the ongoing resource commodity price lows are making times tough for families and local businesses in resource communities, such as Mount Isa, and across the North West,” she said.

“Last week’s news about the North East Gas Interconnector pipeline coming to Queensland showed what a focussed government could achieve in winning jobs and infrastructure.

“The taskforce will continue the focus, drawing together stakeholders across the North West to identify how we can all work together to plan a strategic way forward.”

Premier Palaszczuk said the starting point would be to work closely with industry to identify the particular issues affecting each mining company in the area.

“We will also consider the proposals in the North West Queensland Strategic Development Study, commissioned by a working group of North West Queensland government and industry stakeholders,” she said.

The government will work with representatives of:

  • the Queensland Resources Council
  • resources companies and associated businesses
  • economic peak bodies including the Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Development Zone (MITEZ), and Townsville Enterprise.

Ms Palaszczuk said the taskforce would also work closely with local governments, in particular the mayor of Mount Isa Tony McGrady.

Welcoming the announcement Councillor McGrady said he applauded the Premier for giving due recognition to the special issues facing the State’s North West.

“I stand ready to assist and work closely with the State Government to implement any policies that lead to the betterment of the North West and in particular the mining sector.

“The Premier has shown that she understands the vital importance of our part of the State.

“As chair of the North West Queensland Strategic Development Study and the leader of local government in Mount Isa, I thank the Premier and her government for their commitment and support.”

The Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter also welcomed the North West Minerals Province Taskforce.

“We welcome the Premier’s response on this issue and I hope this will bring much needed stability to our town and industry,” Mr Katter said. 

“I look forward to working with the government to secure other productive initiatives similar to the copper smelter and the Western Roads package which have already been achieved.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham had kicked off discussions about the taskforce at his Resources Roundtable earlier this month.

“Queensland is Australia’s most decentralised state and my government is committed to supporting our vibrant and diverse regional communities and economies to continue to survive and thrive,” she said.

Media contact: Premier’s Office 3719 7000