PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) on Thursday welcomed the state government’s commitment to strengthen the resources sector’s role as Queensland moved to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled a A$7-billion Covid-19 recovery plan to support the health response, support industry and business and provide households with cost of living relief.
“The plan I am releasing today will guide our priorities as we rebuild and strengthen the Queensland economy not only in the short term but over the years to come.
“It has been developed after extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and regional communities and identifies priority areas beyond immediate stimulus for our future focus.
“It’s a plan built to protect Queenslander’s health and create jobs by working together to unite and recover,” the Premier said.
The plan includes A$5-million in funding for a feasibility study into a gas pipeline from the Bowen basin.
“Our gas industry is a vital part of our state’s energy and resources future, that’s why we’re committing A$5-million for a concept study into the Bowen basin pipeline to build productive infrastructure connecting high quality gas reserves to the east coast and export gas market.
“If progressed, a pipeline could potentially create more than 1 000 construction jobs and open up new reserves of gas for domestic and export use,” the Premier added.
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said that the new gas pipeline could aggregate gas collection to increase the supply of gas across the region and lower the cost of delivering it to customers.
“It will also maintain downward pressure on the delivered price of domestic gas. There is also a role for the Australian government’s Northern Australian Investment Facility to consider how it can support pipeline proposals,” Macfarlane said.
He said, more broadly, the Premier had identified the resources sector as “one of Queensland’s great strengths” and she had also recognised the work of the coal, metals and gas industries to protect workers and keep critical supply chains open.
“For the 372 000 Queensland men and women who rely on the resources sector for their employment, QRC thanks the Premier for her recognition of the sector’s role in the Covid-19 recovery and response.
“As an industry, we have worked extremely hard to protect our workers, their families, the communities we work in and the businesses we support. We have done this and maintained as much of the A$74-billion economic contribution to the Queensland economy as possible despite upheaval in global markets and movement restrictions.”