Mine safety, Great Barrier Reef winners of Queensland budget

The Queensland Government is focusing on mine safety and protection of the Great Barrier Reef in its natural resources, mines and energy budget this year.

Queensland has placed a spotlight on mine dust lung disease by allocating $10.4 million to deliver reforms to the regulatory framework that addresses this issue.

A further $1.2 million will go to a mobile screening service to help improve the detection of coal workers’ black lung, silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases.

The Queensland Government will conduct more inspections and audits, boosted by a $1.7 million investment over the next two years.

It will also invest $28.5 million to continue remediating the state’s disclaimed mine sites and research into new techniques.

Queenslanders “care about the environment” and this year’s budget is ensuring it continues to be protected, according to the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch.

An investment of $75.4 million will go to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef as part of the $330 million record funding over five years from 2018-19.

“Our investment in both the mining sector to support the burgeoning renewable industry and protections for the Great Barrier Reef will help boost exports and jobs in mining and tourism,” Queensland’s Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said.

In the transition to a renewable energy future, a renewables industry couldn’t go without high-tech metals like cobalt and vanadium needed for electric and hybrid vehicles, lithium batteries, wind turbine generators, according to Lynham.

The Queensland Government is, therefore, investing $12.7 million to provide explorers with the best available data to help find zinc, nickel and copper to meet an “ever-increasing thirst” for new technology minerals globally.