Nov 2010

Bureaucratic red tape slowly strangles mining development

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INDEPENDENT Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is calling for urgent intervention from Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan and his Queensland counterpart Andrew Fraser to stop bureaucratic ineptitude from killing mining development in North-West Queensland, a world-class mineral province of enormous value to both the regional and national economy.

Mr Katter has written to the Treasurers after being advised by CuDeco Ltd, a top 200 ASX-listed copper miner near his hometown of Cloncurry, that mining firms are shying away from doing business in Qld over serious concerns with the Qld Government bureaucracy.

“I was deeply disturbed to be advised this week that mining companies are withdrawing new exploration applications because, after spending several years and tens of millions of dollars exploring, they simply can not afford to wait for an unknown number of years to be granted a mining lease,” said Mr Katter.

“Alarmingly, CuDeco has also warned that the big miners are no longer bothering to come to Queensland to look for minerals as a result of this time-consuming red tape; and that unless the performance of State authorities is vastly improved, Queensland’s mining expansion will cease.”

Mr Katter said he was extraordinarily concerned to be told that four companies in Cloncurry alone being held up by relevant approvals, required by both the Mines Department and the Department of Environment and Resource Management, could be the tip of the iceberg across the state.

“One first applied in 2006 and, having outlaid millions of dollars in exploration and infrastructure, is ready to proceed but for the approval of a lease,” he said.

“Long since gone are the days when the Qld Government told Thiess they would get the Mary Kathleen- Cloncurry road built in six months; that ‘the uranium mine will come onstream now’. And anyone that got in the way of progress and job creation – the development of our great and rich land – was thrown out the window. Now they get promoted.

“Today the bureaucrats in their airconditioned offices spend their time figuring out how to get promoted and make themselves more money. These same people wouldn’t know the difference between Chalcopyrites and a billy goat; they’ve never had the sun on their face, a callous on their hand or risked their own money.”

Mr Katter concluded: “It should be quite obvious to both State and Commonwealth elected representatives that it won’t be just the local communities situated in some of the most remote parts of my electorate who will suffer economically from a downturn in mining, but wider Queensland and Australia could well suffer the potentially devastating consequences of bureaucratic obfuscation in this resource-rich state of ours.”

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au