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Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

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Like Liquid Gold - Towards a Resource Industry Position on Water

Launching the Queensland Water Plan 2005 - 2010 in August 2005, Premier Peter Beattie compared the state's water resources with liquid gold. Queensland's peak industry body for the minerals and energy sector, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), believes the analogy is appropriate. During early development of an industry water strategy, it has become apparent that water is like liquid gold, in that it is revered, hoarded, recycled, priced on purity, a magnet for speculators, both difficult and expensive to transport effectively, heavily regulated and fundamentally linked to issues of security._x000D_
To date it has generally been economic and relatively straightforward for the resources sector to secure water. Although production has not been compromised, this must not be grounds for complacency as there is every indication that water will continue to become increasingly expensive, more tightly regulated and, relative to a growing demand for a finite water supply, increasingly scarce. During 2006, QRC has developed and is implementing a voluntary industry water strategy to address a range of challenges confronting the resource sector's security of access to water._x000D_
As a consequence of, at times, protracted community consultations over Queensland's catchment-based water planning processes it has become clear that many community stakeholders have outdated perceptions of the state's resources sector. Once established, QRC's water strategy will incorporate a community engagement campaign to present the industry's credentials as a leader in water resource management._x000D_
The development of QRC's water strategy, and the challenges the strategy is designed to address, provides insight into the fundamental reforms that are occurring in how water is managed and regulated in Queensland. These reforms have implications for how government policies are designed and administered and also for how industry engages with communities during this transition process._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Barger, A, 2006. Like liquid gold - towards a resource industry position on water, in Proceedings Water in Mining 2006, pp 151-158 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 0.16 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200610020

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