The LNP Government has failed to give assurances on indigenous employment by announcing a new process for the development of the Aurukun bauxite resource with no requirement so far set out for local jobs.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said while development in the region was welcomed, the Newman Government has walked away from any prospect of an alumina refinery being developed in Aurukun to support manufacturing and the development of the region.
“While we are supportive of the development of the bauxite resource the proponent should be supporting local jobs and industries,” Mr Pitt said.
“Australia is the largest producer of bauxite in the world and a significant global supplier of refined alumina and smelted aluminium.
“There is no compelling reason why a refinery could not be developed in Aurukun.
“We urge the government not to embark on a process of raising expectations in the local community while selling locals short by not requiring the proponent to hire local workers.
“There is no commercial reason why the development of the Aurukun bauxite resource can’t happen with the support of local people and with local people sharing the benefits of the resource.”
Mr Pitt said Queensland currently charges a highly competitive royalty rate on bauxite in exchange for resource companies providing services to remote communities such as Weipa.
“A process for the development of the Aurukun bauxite resource which does not mandate local jobs will simply be selling the people of Aurukun and Queenslanders short,” he said.