The Queensland Government is committed to further developing the North West’s potential.
The blueprint will facilitate a strong and prosperous future by building on existing economic and community strengths in collaboration with industry, business and community leaders.
Centred around Mount Isa and Cloncurry, the North West Minerals Province is one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions. It has delivered significant economic benefits to Queensland for decades.
While fluctuating commodity prices and mining activities have presented challenges for the resources sector, positive economic signs are emerging. These include significant new regional projects and growing global demand for the minerals and rare earths in this highly prospective region.
The Queensland Government supported the establishment of the North West Minerals Province Taskforce in November 2015 to scope the issues and opportunities facing the resources sector in the region, and to provide advice on a way forward for the region’s future. The blueprint builds on the work of the taskforce.
The Strategic Blueprint
A Strategic Blueprint for Queensland's North West Minerals Province ( 2.6 MB) contains a suite of actions to secure the long-term future of the region and its communities, including new funding of $39 million over four years as part of the 2017–2018 State Budget for a range of short and medium-term actions under three strategic priorities:
1. Facilitating continued resources sector development
Approximately $30.9 million will be dedicated to large-scale geological programs to help identify the next generation of commercial mineral deposits and support frontier gas exploration. Promoting the region’s potential to investors and facilitating commercial development of smaller projects, including potential common-user infrastructure, will also support resource sector development.
2. Diversifying the regional economy and creating employment opportunities
Almost $5.5 million will help diversify the regional economy and maximise economic development and job creation opportunities. This includes targeted support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and other young people, and a new regional team based in Mount Isa focussed on developing a long-term economic diversification strategy as well as employment and community resilience strategies.
3. Working with businesses and the community to deliver integrated and appropriate services
Approximately $2.6 million will help improve government and collaborative service delivery, maintain and build community resilience, and engage with regional stakeholders in blueprint implementation.
The blueprint’s strategic priorities and funding reflect the Queensland Government’s commitment to continue to work in partnership with other levels of government, the resources sector, business, industry – and local communities to guide and secure the future of this important region.
The Department of State Development will coordinate blueprint implementation and the recruitment of staff to establish the new blueprint implementation team in Mount Isa.
A Stakeholder Advisory Committee of representatives from industry, business, regional economic development groups, community leaders, local and federal government, plus Traditional Owners will be formed to assist in blueprint implementation and review.
The department will host a North West Futures Forum in the region in late 2017. The forum will provide a focal point for engaging with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee , political leaders and other invited speakers about opportunities for innovation, development and broader community awareness of the blueprint’s strategies.