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QRC wants certainty, not special treament

THE peak body for 90% of mining companies in Queensland just wants the government to tell its members what to do.

Fronting a State Government inquiry into resources, agriculture and environment focused on cutting red-tape, the Queensland Resources Council told the committee it needed certainty not special treatment.

QRC environmental policy director Frances Hayter said the industry feared rules and regulations would keep piling up.

"Our aim is to have certainty of process, not certainty of outcome," she said.

Ms Hayter said mining groups might spend huge sums of money securing an area of land - or tenements - to explore for mining, ticking all environmental, economic and social boxes to then be told that area was suddenly off-limits.

This "moving of goal posts", she said, was hurting potential investment in the state's industry.

"When you take those existing tenement rights away, there is always a fear of future investment in the industry," she said.

"That is a worry when you put quite a lot of time, money and effort.

"You have shareholders and it is taken away with little consultation."

The QRC also warned against using new laws to punish the bad behaviour of some mine companies when they could be handled by better enforcing current rules.

The public hearing included comments from AgForce, environmental activists, other mining groups and briefings from government departments.

Chair and member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss said he felt the government was on-track to make laws simpler for both agriculture and the resources industry.

"This is a very topical issue of course," he said.

"I think we can get some good outcomes.

"It's like giving instructions to your teenager, it's no use beating around the bush.

"You say 'Yes you can' or 'No you can't'."

The committee must now put together a report on its six month inquiry by November 30.

Topics:  mining, queensland resources council




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