Support for Exploration in Queensland Budget

Support for Exploration in 2012 Queensland State Budget

The Queensland Resources Council has endorsed the allocation of $30 million over five years to support Geological Survey of Queensland initiatives has received the endorsement of the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC), while being criticised by the Queensland Resources Council for locking in unsustainable coal royalty rates,

The Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) was launched by the Queensland Resources Council in late 2010 with the mission of positioning Queensland as ‘an exploration leader by 2020’.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said it was highly significant that the state Treasurer, no doubt with the strong encouragement of Mines Minister Andrew Cripps, had placed the government’s embrace of exploration’s importance ‘squarely on the record’.

QEC Chairman Geoff Dickie said the allocation of $30 million over three years to support Geological Survey of Queensland initiatives was tangible evidence of the government’s intent to get behind the state’s exploration sector.

‘Accurate and accessible geoscientific information is a major pre-cursor to exploration investment,’ Dr Dickie said.  ‘Queensland is in full-on competition for the exploration dollar – both domestically and globally. ‘The high minerals and energy prospectivity of the state does not mean that explorers must beat a path to our door. But at the back of every explorer’s mind is the dream of finding another Mount Isa.’

Michael Roche said the QRC also welcomed the new GSQ funding.

‘It’s encouraging that despite budget constraints, the state government is investing in the long-term by strengthening the foundations for discovery,’ he said.

Mr Roche said that despite a sombre global price outlook and increasing competition from lower cost producers, Queensland’s minerals and energy sector was being forecast by Treasury to return around $14 billion in royalties over the next four years, including the start of major contributions from the export coal-seam gas industry.

‘The budget papers give a lie to predictions of the waning importance of coal, with Treasury forecasting that the coal industry alone will contribute $11 billion in royalties to taxpayers over the next four years. ‘The downside for coal is that this budget locks in an uncompetitive set of coal royalty rates from last year’s budget and leaves Queensland producers with among the highest effective taxation rates in the world,’ Mr Roche said.

4 June 2013

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