Report: Qld mining losing investment appeal

TOO much bureaucracy, complicated environmental regulations and accessing land have been listed as some of the issues crippling the Queensland mining industry in a report which also shows the state has dropped in global rankings when it comes to investments.

In the latest Fraser Institute report, Queensland was ranked 27th out of 122 countries when it came to investment appeal, dropping from its ranking of 21st out of 112 in 2013.

The report attributed this to a fall in political stability and availability of labour and skills.

The Sunshine State was also ranked the worst in Australia for labour regulations, employment agreements and work disruptions, coming in 57th out of 122, behind countries including Cambodia, Turkey and Serbia.

The report collated results from surveys of mining companies across the globe.

Comments on the Queensland industry from those surveyed included how environmental rehabilitation and financial assurance requirements were driven by fear and how the government was demanding unrealistic environmental bond for mine closure rehabilitation.

"The biggest problem Queensland has had in the past is the application of any policy; it has had a big focus on black-and-white compliance without an understanding of how exploration companies actually work and operate," one person said.

Another said: "Too much bureaucracy and changing of royalty rates."

When it comes to investment appeal, Queensland now sits behind Botswana, Sweden, Ireland, Alaska and Finland; the country which was ranked at the top.

But Queensland was not the only Australian state or territory to fall down the ladder since 2013. Western Australia, which was ranked at the top in 2013 fell to fifth position in the investment attractiveness index.

The survey report also ranked Queensland on government-driven policies, labelling it a "report card" to governments, taking into account environmental regulations, taxes, land claims, infrastructure, development conditions, trade barriers and labour regulations.

Queensland again fell in this policy ranking. In 2013 it was ranked 24 out of 112 but fell to 33rd place out of 122 locations in 2014, behind NSW, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia and other countries including Chile, Namibia, Greenland and Norway.

- APN NEWSDESK



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