State Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said businesses are still waiting for a commitment from the ALP Government on releasing recommendations on the North West Mineral Taskforce.
Mr Katter posed a question to the Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment in Parliament last week, seeking an update.
“The North West Minerals Province is one of the world’s best mineral producing regions,” Mr Katter said.
“However, investment in the region is at risk. I’ve asked the Treasurer to provide detail on the recommendations from the North West Minerals Province Taskforce and how he plans to support mining investment and infrastructure development from those findings.”
“It has been over a year after the ALP Government made a commitment to the Taskforce inquiry, and we need to know if the Government intends on implementing any of the recommendations, or if this was just a big time wasting exercise.”
“The wider community and businesses should be given some sort of picture of where the region is headed.”
“North West Minerals Province Taskforce was an initiative to provide recommendations to government on how to best tackle short-term challenges.”
“We identified a number of opportunities during our first meeting, and in order for our regional communities and economies to continue surviving and thriving, we need to see an outcome from our discussions.”
“I am yet to see this report and will keep on the government for action on this matter.”
The Taskforce was to consider a number of crucial economic issues and decisions to be made by the Government. Mr Katter highlighted energy supply as one of the key issues for the North West and the need for Parliament to deliver a robust solution.
“Energy supply, in particular, gas, is a major driver of production costs and one of the critical elements of ensuring the long-term future of the area. The major parties have ignored the risks in the gas market from LNG export projects for years,” Mr Katter said.
“Now that those risks have materialised, the major parties need to stop hiding behind their free-market mantra and recognise that the Parliament must play the lead role in implementing a solution”.
“I’m pushing both major parties to work with me on this because the gas supply issue is too critical for them to do their typical thing and blame each other for the problem.”