North Australia Digest – 23/10/12

The Australian
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has decided to lift the ban on uranium mining in Queensland, unlocking a huge opportunity to recommence development of the resource in the state. This comes 30 years after the state’s last mine closed and could see development worth up to $18 billion. Newman says the change was prompted by Julia Gillard’s visit to India, where she discussed uranium exports with the country.
The Commonwealth now expects its mining tax to generate only two-thirds of what they had predicted earlier in the year due to falls in commodity prices. Yesterday’s MYEFO forecast the earnings from minerals resource rent tax down 32 per cent from this year’s May budget.
Australian Financial Review
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance employees have endorse a new workplace deal at the company’s Queensland coal mines that will see annual pay rises of 5 per cent over three years, a $15,000 bonus and increased superannuation.
Former AWB managing director Gordon Davis says preventing foreign investment into GrainCorp could deter necessary flows of capital into the agricultural sector.
Treasurer Wayne Swan denies claims he announced the budget review earlier than usual in order to avoid revealing how little revenue the Mineral Resources Tax has generated.
The federal government has said Australian coal mines could see more job cuts as the industry comes under greater pressure due to steadily low commodity prices.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson is encouraging farmers to welcome foreign investment in order to take advantage of Asia’s increasing demand for Australian agricultural exports.
The Age
The Age also reports on the lifting of the uranium mining prohibition in Queensland after a 30-year ban. This follows the federal Labor Party decision to remove policy bans on uranium mines and begin discussions to sell uranium to India, as well as policy changes on uranium in Western Australia and New South Wales.
The Courier Mail
Again, the Courier Mail reports on Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s decision to overturn the 23-year ban on uranium mining, facilitating the redevelopment of an $18 billion industry, which could also see thousands of jobs created.
A CPA Australia report found Australian business leaders are struggling to engage with Asian markets due to relatively poor knowledge of the region and its languages. The report discovered that Australia may not be able to capitalise on its geographic location if it doesn’t overcome cultural barriers, stating ‘[t]here is a strong risk that without a change in mindset from Australian businesses, Australia will be a peripheral player in the Asian century.’
The West Australian
Analysts say uranium explorers in Queensland are unlikely to begin production any time soon, despite the recent policy change to mining in the region. No Link.
The Brisbane Times
The Brisbane Times also reports that Australia’s uranium sector will be given a huge boost as Queensland Premier lifts the ban on uranium mining in the state.
The federal government announced it will introduce a foreign register for agricultural land in an attempt to ‘take the politics out of foreign ownership’.

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