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KAP Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter is hosting a rail and energy forum in Brisbane on Wednesday to address what he calls an investment crisis in the North West
Mr Katter said the forum would bring together major rail and energy users to discuss the issues holding back investment in the North West Minerals Province in the wake of the new North West Strategic Blueprint which he called “underwhelming”.
“I’ve decided to hold this forum to get the major users working together to find solutions to the energy and transport problems,” Mr Katter said.
“The issues have been known for many years however successive governments have done very little to address them. It’s getting to the point where future development is becoming more and more difficult.”
Incitec, Glencore, MMG, Mitez and CuDeco will be at the forum.
“I’m hopeful that we will get some solid policy ideas to benefit the North West Minerals Province from working together,” Mr Katter said.
He said access to competitively priced gas and electricity and the cost of rail transport were the major issues holding back investment.
“I’ve had multiple users, both large and small, spell out the issues they’re having with rising input costs and lack of access to key infrastructure,” he said.
“The problem has gotten worse over the past five years and it’s not uncommon for energy and transport costs to have doubled or even tripled in that time. Gas prices have gotten particularly bad with some users reporting prices going from around $6/GJ to around $20/GJ.”
Mr Katter said the risks to future development and economic expansion needed to be addressed but could be overcome.
“Addressing these issues will take some serious commitment from the government and I’m confident that if key stakeholders put their heads together in a coordinated manner we can drive some solutions,” he said.
He said he wanted Wednesday’s forum to be the beginning of an ongoing constructive policy working group.
This article first appeared on www.northweststar.com.au
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