REPORT: Regional communities are in need of support to diversify their economy. Picture: Minerals Council of Australia
REPORT: Regional communities are in need of support to diversify their economy. Picture: Minerals Council of Australia

Call to diversify economy and depend less on mining

A NEW economic report has found regional communities are in need of support to diversify their economy so they are less dependent on mining and more resilient to "external shocks".

The Next Economy will today release its new economic report, What Queensland Wants, following a year-long consultation process with industry, government and community representatives across regional Queensland.

The report reveals big and bold ideas to create new jobs and investment opportunities in a low-carbon economy.

In a full section devoted to the sector, it noted mining was the most controversial topic explored during the consultation activities.

 

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"While nearly all acknowledged the economic benefits to their region and that most had learned to live with the negative impact of the resources industry, some expressed concern about growing climate impacts," the report said.

"Many participants also expressed concerns about the growing divide in public opinion as to whether Queensland should continue to invest in the expansion of the coal and gas industry."

The Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd
The Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd

Among the recommendations from those consulted was a need for a diversification of regional economies to ensure they were less dependent on mining.

The report also called for the development of a transition plan to manage the shift from coal to renewable energy generation and to support workers and the community with training and new employment.

It suggested more investment was needed in the exploration, mining and processing of other commodities such as lithium, copper, zinc, nickel and rare earth minerals.

The report recommended action was needed for more mining royalties to flow to the regions, the security of local mining jobs and proper rehabilitation of mine sites.

 

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The Next Economy is a not-for-profit organisation established to "transform economic systems to enable both people and planet to thrive".

It provides policy and strategic advice to all levels of government and industry, as well as training, planning and project management support to regional areas confronting economic challenges.