Queensland is set for a resources exploration surge with the 2020-21 budget delivering more than $29 million in exploration grants, initiatives and COVID-19 support over the next few years.
Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said the budget boost for exploration would help drive future resource projects and the thousands of jobs that would flow from them.
“Queenslanders elected the Palaszczuk Government so we could keep delivering our strong health response and our plan for economic recovery,” Mr Stewart said.
“An important part of that plan is continuing to invest in and support our world class resource sector.
“This year’s budget will invest $9 million to help explorers discover new economy minerals that are high in demand globally in the renewables and tech sectors.
“We have already fast tracked $2 million in spending earlier this year to understand the potential for rare earth minerals.
“We will pump in another $11.7 million in the following three years as new economy minerals will deliver the jobs of the future.”
In 2020-21, another $3.3 million will help boost gas and mineral exploration through the Strategic Resources Exploration Program.
“In addition, to help keep explorers on the hunt we’ve also waived $9.8 million in state rent to back explorers and have frozen exploration fees and charges until 1 July 2021.”
Mr Stewart said $845,000 budget investment will be provided to make data collected from exploration projects freely available from January 2021 via the government’s geological database.
“Everything learned from the exploration projects will be shared with the whole sector, helping to stimulate more mines, jobs and exports for Queensland.
“Gas infrastructure will also be critical, that is why we are investing $5 million over the next two years on investigating potential new gas pipeline infrastructure to connect gas reserves in the Bowen Basin to domestic customers and exports.
“Investing in infrastructure and supporting exploration is fundamental to maintaining ongoing resources investment and jobs into the future.”
Minister Stewart said the 2020-21 budget was also delivering more than $33.9 million in rent waivers to support Queensland’s other traditional strengths agriculture and tourism sector.
“More than $2.7 million in rent has been waived for 72 tourism businesses operating on state-owned land and islands,” he said.
“Another $31.2 million in state rent has been waived for more than 6000 farmers and businesses, because a strong Queensland agricultural industry will also be a driving force in Queensland’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Through this budget, the Queensland Government is doing what it can to help keep business working and people employed.”