New Vision for a competitive North | “North Australia and then some” launch in North Queensland

Townsville played host to the latest launch of North Australia and then some by Mrs Gina Rinehart last Friday night. I was in Townsville to launch the book, and was joined by Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald for the occasion. The book is a powerful wake-up call about the vast potential of the North to drive Australia’s future prosperity. Further information on purchasing a copy of the book can be found below.

MMG has signed off on a $1.4 billion zinc, lead and silver mine in Queensland’s north-west. The Dugald River project is expected to create 600 jobs during construction and employ 500 once operational. Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the decision was part of “renaissance of the north west mineral province.”

The severe shortage of labour in the Pilbara has led a local council to explore options for importing workers. Pilbara Regional Council chief executive Tony Friday announced last week that foreign workers were needed to help small businesses currently struggling to find local employees.

A Minerals Council of Australia report released last week says the mining boom is in dire need of “rebooting” in the face of increasing uncertainty. The report warns rising costs and increasing global competition could stop Australia reaping the rewards of a resources hungry Asia over coming decades.

The report coincided with the release of figures from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics predicting resources and energy exports would be down $9bn in the current financial year. Responding to the reports, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said Australia was “well placed” to maintain a strong pipeline of projects, but needed to reduce “the cost of investing in Australia“.

Analysis produced by Deloitte for the Australian Petroluem Production and Exploration Association was also released last week. The report found Australia’s GDP could increase $455 billion by 2035 if the oil and gas industry was encouraged to reach its full potential, contributing as much as 4.9 per cent of national GDP by 2020.