Mount Isa’s business lobby group has joined the fight for uranium mining in Queensland’s north west.
The Commerce North West board will submit a formal response to the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham, opposing the government’s proposed re-implementation of the ban on uranium mining.
Commerce North West president Travis Crowther said uranium mining was vital to supplement looming job losses in Mount Isa.
“We acknowledge that further research needs to be conducted with regard to transporting uranium from the north west to protect our people and our environment,” he told the North West Star.
“However the benefits, such as improved economic environment and increase in employment opportunities in the north west region, indicate that these issues should be addressed to allow uranium mining to continue in Queensland.”
Commerce North West said about 1000 jobs were expected to be cut in 2020 from the closure of the copper smelter and end of the current copper mine, meaning investigation into uranium deposits was a timely opportunity for the region.
“Many of the skills from the current workforce are transferable to uranium mining,” Mr Crowther said.
“This would assist in stabilising population, employment rates and housing prices.”
Commerce North West board voted unanimously to call on the Queensland government to allow uranium mining to continue in Queensland.
Uranium has been mined in Australia since 1954 and continued through to 1982 when Mary Kathleen mine near Cloncurry was closed.
There are 80 known sites in Queensland that contain valuable uranium deposits, most in the north west.
The Queensland government has commissioned a report, with 40 recommendations, compiled by its Uranium Mining Implementation Committee.
These recommendations address best practice, environmental and safety aspects, economics and community development, as well as opportunities for Indigenous Queenslanders, and resource royalties.