Budget drives safer dams, mines and reef protections

Enhancing the safety of our dams and mines and protecting the Great Barrier Reef are key facets of the 2019-20 Natural Resources, Mines and Energy budget.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said more than $600 million was being invested with the focus on both renewable and non-renewable natural resources, delivering safe, secure, affordable and sustainable energy and water.

“Water security always has been a priority for the Palaszczuk Government and we will continue to ensure that is the case, at all times ensuring that Queenslanders are getting full value from our commitment to ensuring a reliable water supply,” Dr Lynham said.

“Funding in this 2019-20 Budget comes on top of the Palaszczuk Government’s $863 million commitment to water infrastructure since December 2017, that has created 1643 jobs for Queenslanders.”

Investment in dam safety and securing supply in the Budget includes:

  • $83 million to construct the Rookwood Weir to supplement urban water supplies and enhance agricultural and industrial development in the Fitzroy Basin and Gladstone region;
  • $55 million as part of Queensland Government’s $225 million total investment to address Townsville’s long-term water security needs for the Haughton Pipeline;
  • $43.5 million for SunWater’s Dam Improvement Program to enhance dams to meet future extreme weather conditions and to continue to provide water security for regional Queensland and
  • $26.3 million for Gladstone and Mt Isa Water Boards to continue to provide a reliable water supply.

“Seqwater has budgeted a record $153.6 million in capital expenditure for 2019-20, focusing on the continuation of a safe, secure and reliable water supply for South East Queensland, as well as providing essential flood mitigation services and managing catchment health,” Dr Lynham said.

Dr Lynham said the safety of Queensland mines sites and of mine workers, would be another focus.

Enhancing safety and health of mine workers and mine remediation include:

  • $10.4 million to continue to deliver reforms to the regulatory framework for addressing mine dust lung disease in Queensland;
  • $28.5 million to continue managing and remediating the state’s disclaimed mine sites and research into new techniques;
  • $1.7 million over two years for more inspections and audits and
  • $1.2 million over two years for a mobile screening service, which will help improve the detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung), silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases.

“There will be continuing significant investment in the Great Barrier Reef by delivering, regulating and supporting land and water management programs.

“There also will be significant investment in the resources industry.

“As we transition to a renewable energy future you can’t have a renewables industry without high-tech metals like cobalt and vanadium needed for electric and hybrid vehicles, lithium batteries, wind turbine generators,” Dr Lynham said.

“That is why for Queensland’s resource industry, we are investing $12.7 million to provide explorers with the best available data to help find zinc, nickel and copper to meet an ever-increasing thirst for new technology minerals globally.

“Our investment in both the mining sector to support the burgeoning renewable industry and protections for the Great Barrier Reef will help boost exports and jobs in mining and tourism.”

Land management protection projects include:

  • $16.1 million to help improve the quality of the state’s land, vegetation, water and reef, which includes $5.6 million for improved water quality to reduce sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef;
  • up to $19.2 million in fee and land rental relief, electricity charges relief as part of the Drought Assistance Package and Queensland Drought Reform to support drought affected communities across the State and
  • $800,000 in funding to maintain the stock route network.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.