State Government plans to make mining exploration easier

THE State Government says Queenslanders will benefit from the Newman Government's focus to make exploration and mining simpler and more profitable.

Natural Resources and Mines Assistant Minister Lisa France today addressed the Queensland Exploration Council Capital Raising Seminar where she announced the steps the Newman Government had taken to ensure Queensland remained attractive for explorers.

"It is critical for the state's economy that explorers continue to see the benefits of investing in Queensland," Ms France said.

"We have an abundance of resources and we understand that exploration is where it all begins.

"As a government, we are determined to find ways we can continue to cut unnecessary green and red tape."

Ms France said the Newman Government had made significant progress over the past 18 months.

"Our new streamlined process for exploration permits is just one example of a simple policy change that will make a dramatic difference to the critical first steps of exploration," she said.

"This process has the potential to halve the time taken for companies to be granted exploration permits, while maintaining environment, native title and land access assessments.

"This can mean some permits can be determined in fast as six months or sooner, a significant reduction in the average 22 months it currently takes for an application to be processed.

"We have also invested $30 million to fund a number of initiatives to ensure Queensland remains attractive for resource investment.

"These initiatives include Collaborative Drilling Grants, to co-fund drilling projects, Cape York Mineral Resource Assessment, to evaluate the region's mineral potential and boosting Queensland's capacity to store core samples."

Ms France said the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Queensland and Federal governments will remove the need to obtain multiple environmental approvals.

"Through this agreement, we will be able to establish a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals while maintaining rigorous environmental standards," she said.

Ms France said these major improvements were just the beginning of the government's investment into securing the future of Queensland's resources industry.

"When we came to government, we inherited some 4000 pages of resources legislation, incorporating some 15,000 statutory requirements on exploration and mining related activities across five major resource acts," she said.

"This onerous regulation has taken its toll on both the industry and government. However, we will continue to strip that legislation back.

"In strong consultation with industry, we are planning to introduce a Common Resources Act, where the same issues are dealt with in the same manner for all tenure types."

DNRM has also given approval for commercial oil shale industry, tackled the Legacy Mine Water issue and continues to make significant land releases for minerals, coal and petroleum.

Topics:  mining state government

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