Proposed resource developments across Queensland will be permitted in more locations and receive a variety of incentives.
Nearly 7000 sq km of land will be released for new gas and mineral exploration activity before the end of May 2020.
The State Government has called coal exploration tenders for a total of 108 sq km near Moranbah. It will also request proposals for a further 6700 sq km of land for gas extraction in the Sunshine State’s central and southwest regions on 14 May.
State fees and charges will be freezed until the beginning of July 2021, and rent on exploration land due between April and September will be waived for a full year. Grants worth up to $2 million will also be available for exploration companies to use towards projects in the North West Minerals Province.
New wave of jobs
State Mines Minister Anthony Lynham hopes the measures will encourage the resources industry to continue working on projects during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
“Many enterprises have had to put exploration activities on hold as a non-essential activity to reduce risks to their workforce and local communities,” he said in a public statement.
“As well, many junior companies are having difficulty raising essential capital to meet exploration and holding costs. Our package will ensure exploration continues to identify the next wave of resources projects and jobs.”
Coal seam gas benefits
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) believes the announcement will benefit coal and gas producers.
“Queensland has worked hard to become the energy superpower on the East Coast through its young coal fired-power plants, a collaborative approach to domestic gas supply and renewable energy,” QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said.
“Queensland can thank the coal seam gas industry for investing more than a billion dollars in upgrading the transmission infrastructure in the southwest of the state, which enabled a whole second wave of renewable investment to follow behind the gas industry.”
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