The community will have their objection rights restored for the Aurukun bauxite mining project under legislation debated in State Parliament last night.
State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the amendments contained in the Mineral Resources (Aurukun Bauxite Resource) Amendment Bill 2016 were consistent with the election commitment the Palaszczuk Government had made to restore community objection rights.
“The government is committed to listening to the views of the community when making decisions that affect them, and we are now providing everyone with the right to object to a mining lease for an Aurukun project,” he said.
“Glencore’s Aurukun bauxite project is a significant commercial development for Queensland and will provide long-term economic, social and financial benefits for the State and for the communities of Cape York.
“The project proponent, Glencore, and the government, recognise that the participation and involvement of the traditional owners and the community of Aurukun will be vital to the project’s success.”
Dr Lynham said for many years successive governments had sought to turn the Aurukun bauxite deposit into a development project for the benefit of the local community and the state.
“The Mineral Resources Act 1989 had special provisions to progress Aurukun projects. These provisions were never intended to be discriminatory, and it remains the State’s position that they are valid,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is determined to work with Glencore and the Aurukun community to make the development a reality.”
Glencore has a development agreement with the government for the deposit and has applied for a mineral development licence.
Dr Lynham told Parliament that the current project concept envisaged up to 400 construction jobs and 250 operational jobs at Aurukun.