Central Queensland Councilor Paul Bell has been tasked to lead the Uranium Implementation Committee of Queensland, a week after the state government of Premier Campbell Newman lifted a 30-year ban that effectively resumes uranium mining in the area.
"Cr Bell has spent decades representing the mining communities of Central Queensland and understands what it takes to build a successful resources industry which benefits everybody," Mr Newman said in a statement.
Recently retired as president for eight years of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Cr Bell will lead a 5-man committee composed of Noeline Ikin, CEO of Northern Gulf Resource Management Group; Frances Hayter, Environment Director, Queensland Resources Council; Dr Geoff Garrett, Queensland Government Chief Scientist; Dan Hunt, Acting Director-General, Department of Natural Resources and Mines; and, indigenous leader, Warren Mundine, Director of the Australian Uranium Association and a former ALP National President. The latter, however, is still subject to final confirmation.
"Queensland must not miss out on the opportunities for jobs and investment," Mr Newman said. "Global demand for this energy will create enormous opportunities in coming years."
"Uranium exports will earn Queensland tens of billions of dollars over the next two decades, providing thousands of jobs across rural and regional areas."
Professor John Cole from the University of Southern Queensland's Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development said the resumption of uranium mining comes in a very opportune time, most especially since a slowing down is being experienced across the coal and coal seam gas industries.
"The new industry will not affect the slowing coal and coal seam gas industries. In fact, the uranium mines will soak up the workers who are affected by the downturn in the coal and coal seam gas industries," Mr Cole told The Chronicle.
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