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 is dedicated to large-scale geological programs to help identify the next generation of commercial mineral deposits and to 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. The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is leading the implementation of actions under strategic priority one.
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 the development of the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy.
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. A key deliverable of strategic priority three is the development of a Community Resilience Strategy for North West Queensland. The Department of Communities Disability Services and Seniors is leading this work in collaboration with regional stakeholders.
Supporting the blueprint’s implementation
The department is coordinating blueprint implementation. As part of this work, a regional blueprint implementation team has been established in Mount Isa. This team works closely with regional stakeholders to advance blueprint actions.
A Stakeholder Advisory Committee of representatives from industry, business, regional economic development groups, community leaders, local and federal government and Traditional Owners has also been established to assist in blueprint implementation and review. This committee meets regularly in the region to provide feedback to Government on key blueprint actions.
In August 2018, the department hosted the North West Futures forum. The forum provided a focal point for the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, political leaders and other invitees to engage in discussions about the opportunities for innovation and development in the North West Minerals Province. At the forum, valuable feedback was gathered. This information will inform the development of key actions under each of the blueprint’s three strategic priorities.
Targeted stakeholder consultation will continue over the coming months as a number of key blueprint actions are developed and finalised.
In mid 2019, a biennial review of the blueprint will be undertaken. This review will provide an opportunity to further shape the blueprint’s implementation to ensure it remains relevant and responsive to regional needs.