Rules that prohibit exploration activity in parts of Central Queensland should be scrapped, an industry body has urged.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is asking the Queensland Government to formally withdraw a bill to ban mining in the Galilee Basin.
All eyes on Townsville
QRC made the request ahead of a Townsville sitting of state parliament, and said such a move would show strong support for mining jobs at risk of disappearing if the Queensland Greens are successful in passing the Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill 2018 (Qld).
“Our political leaders say they support coal mining jobs, now that the parliament is getting out of Brisbane and sitting in a resources heartland, it’s time to back those words with actions,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a public statement. “Parliament should vote immediately to throw out this Bill.
Macfarlane said multiple companies servicing the resources sector have been targeted by anti-mining activists linked to the Australia Conservation Foundation, which allegedly orchestrated telephone, email and public demonstrations to force Aurecon and other businesses to sever their ties with Adani Australia’s $21 billion Carmichael Coal Project.
“With anti-resources activists trying to bully business and trying to constantly disrupt people’s lives and livelihoods, now is the time to act,” he said. “From the premier, to the treasurer and the opposition leader, we’d hope to see every one of our political leaders in both the government and the opposition stand up against this type of economic vandalism.”
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26,700 jobs await
If just six major coal projects proposed for the Galilee Basin proceeded, Macfarlane said they would create an estimated 13,900 construction jobs and 12,803 operational roles according to data from the Office of the Chief Economist.
“Regional Queenslanders want these jobs, and QRC is calling on the Queensland Parliament to back them to get those jobs,” he said. “It’s time for the Queensland Parliament to take a stand against anti-mining, anti-jobs activists.”
Photo credit: Rabin Tuladhar via Wikimedia Commons.