Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has been in Cooktown, in the north of the state to attend the first meeting of the Cape York Regional Planning Committee, established by the government to develop environmentally protected zones and to identify areas for economic development, and which will attempt to give aboriginal communities in the region a “normalised”¯ economy.
The government is working on a new plan to supersede the Wild Rivers declarations across the far north of the state.
Mr Seeney said there is room for a lot more exploration, following severe restrictions in the past, but emphasised that any future plans, such as the new Bioregion Management Plan, will take into account the needs of all stakeholders: indigenous communities, mining companies and conservationists.
Tax breaks for mining companies
“Once we define the areas, then I think the opportunities for exploration can proceed, and more mining jobs will be created”¯ he said.
He also said offering tax breaks to miners who commit to employing locals, improving community development and supplying equity for traditional owners, were all possibilities.