Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs will be lost to Queensland because of the State Government’s planned ban on uranium mining.
“This is an ideological decision that will cost Queensland enormous potential revenue and employment, and it makes a mockery of the Palaszczuk Government’s pledge to create jobs,” Senator Canavan said today.
“It is a big win for the left-wing ideologues who control the Labor Party in Queensland but is a massive loss for people in regions, especially the north-west of our State, who need jobs and investment.”
Senator Canavan yesterday put a motion to the Senate supporting the uranium industry.
“I asked that the Senate recognise the uranium mining industry’s potential to generate significant economic growth, jobs and income in regional Queensland, and in particular record its disagreement with the Queensland Government’s decision to renege on the policy of allowing applications for the development of new uranium mining projects here.
“The State Government decision will have significant adverse effects on regional areas due to the potential loss of construction and operational jobs, investment and income associated with new projects, as well as the potential loss of public income generated through taxes and mining royalties that could be put back into supporting infrastructure, health services and education in the surrounding communities.”
Senator Canavan said other States were laughing at the Queensland decision.
“The first people to thank the Queensland Government for its planned uranium u-turn weren’t environmental activists but the Western Australian Government,” he said. “The WA Government put out a media release on March 19 headed ‘WA wins from Queensland Labor uranium ban’. That really says it all.
“It pointed out that WA is ideally placed to capitalise on the Queensland Government ban, and this is a real fillip for WA’s four advanced uranium projects.”
Senator Canavan said mining companies had spent a total of more than $100 million on uranium exploration in Queensland in recent years.
“Three potential uranium mines in Queensland could generate about 2,500 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent operations jobs, plus flow-on employment and other benefits, mostly in the Mount Isa to Gulf of Carpentaria region.
“The economic value of uranium here has been estimated at $18 billion, which would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties to provide services and infrastructure and to pay off some of the massive debt left behind by the last Labor Government in Queensland.”
Senator Canavan said there was likely to be strong international demand for uranium in future, with 437 nuclear reactors operating now, a further 70 under construction and 180 on order or planned.