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Major mining projects 'in limbo and at risk'

13 February, 2015

The Palaszczuk government, once formed, must work to restore business confidence or risk losing major mining projects which have the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs for the Queensland economy, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has said in statement.

"Not only is Australia already an expensive place to do business, it has now also become a high risk place," said James Paterson, IPA's Deputy Executive Director.  

"State and federal governments continue to radically change policies each time government changes hands. This uncertainty means Australia will lose major projects overseas."

As reported in the Courier Mail earlier this week, the Australian Political Risk Index, compiled by Political Monitor, hit an 11-month high of 12.74 earlier in February.

"With political instability at the federal and state levels, business is currently in limbo. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in taxes and royalties are in jeopardy in Queensland as a result," Paterson said.

Regulatory burden

Australia ranks 124th out of 144 economies in terms of the burden of government regulation, according to the World Economic Forum's 2014-2015 Global Competiveness Report, an indicator of rigid conditions.

"It is more important that the government stops being a handbrake on companies that want to invest in projects which will boost the economy," Paterson said.

Paterson said if companies continually decide to walk out on major mining projects, it would send a very strong message to investors doing business in Australia was a "risky proposition".