Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uranium backflip a win for Qld and common sense


KATTER’S Australian Party has thanked the people of North West Qld and beyond who fought tenaciously with KAP in successfully pushing for a return to uranium mining, following today’s stunning reversal by the LNP State Government of a decades-long ban.
“At last, a smart decision for the people of Queensland, who realise the great economic value to both our region and wider Australia – at no extra cost to the public,” said KAP State Leader and Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter, who has for more than a year lobbied vigorously for the return of uranium mining in Qld.
The Mount Isa MP, who raised the issue during the first sittings of Parliament and has fronted the media debate since, said uranium mining had the potential to bring in more than $2 billion in royalties to the state, along with hundreds of jobs and services, once the industry was up and running.
“We have always said that this was the road to recovery, not the slash and burn of 14,000 jobs throughout Queensland. If you want to balance the ledger you have to find ways to create revenue, not just focus on ways to cut expenses, and this government has been too preoccupied with one side of the ledger.
“Mining uranium for the benefit of all Queenslanders has been one of our Party’s policies since inception, and there has never been a better time for the government to take a decisive step forward.
“This is a historic time for Queensland’s economy, and we believe if the LNP Government adopted more of our party’s policies, including the development of ethanol, the state would be back on track much quicker.
“There has never been a better time for this government to tap into the wealth at its fingertips, and that has been supported by the Queensland Resources Council and other industry leaders.
“In time the returns from this industry will justify the necessity to invest in infrastructure upgrades in the North West Mineral Province to continue the strong growth in Northern Queensland.”
KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said he hoped the decision on uranium augured well for the Qld Government to reverse its refusal to help connect Mount Isa to the national electricity grid, which will unlock even more of the potential wealth in the world-class mineral province.
“We have difficult days ahead in Mount Isa, particularly with the closure of the copper smelter, because of the refusal of the previous government and now this government to give us the transmission line, which will give us cheap and unlimited power,” he said.
“We are determined through ethanol and electricity production from the sugar mills to get the price of electricity down to where it was when I was minister – the cheapest electricity charges in the world – instead of facing another doubling of electricity charges with full privatisation and the impact of the carbon tax.
“But today we thank the government most sincerely for their decision – and most of all we would like to thank the people of North West Queensland, Mount Isa, Cloncurry and others who have never given up hope and never given up heart in the fight. Now they will reap the rewards.”
Uranium was mined in Queensland at Mary Kathleen until 1982, and is mined safely and with great economic benefits in in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

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