MOUNT Isa could become the uranium capital of Queensland if the region's two new leaders can win government and community support.
Mount Isa's mayor-elect Tony McGrady and new Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter are making no secret of their push to make uranium mining in Queensland a reality.
Mr McGrady, a former mines and energy minister, denies any conflict of interest despite being on the boards of two uranium mining companies.
"Every other state and territory in the country that has deposits of uranium are mining and exporting, except Queensland," Mr McGrady said.
There was a deposit of uranium just outside Mount Isa that has been proven to be commercially viable, he said.
Summit Resources, which owns the deposit called Valhalla, was not one of the uranium mining companies with which Mr McGrady is aligned.
They are Canadian-based company Laramide Resources - which owned the Westmoreland deposit on the Queensland/NT border - and Alligator Energy, which mined in the NT.
Denying any perceived conflict of interest, Mr McGrady said he could not see the difference between working for Xstrata and being a city councillor, and being on the advisory boards of mining companies and serving as mayor.
"In addition, the Westmoreland deposit is outside the region of the Mount Isa District Council," Mr McGrady said.
He said he was heartened the new State member Robbie Katter was in agreement on the uranium issue.
"It is a nice synergy; I feel so much can be achieved when the state and the mayor can work together.
Mr Katter said they were indeed on the same page.
"There're a lot of good reasons for accessing uranium; the main one being there's enormous wealth potential and Mount Isa could diversify its industry base," Mr Katter said.
"We've yet to find any solid rationale for not mining uranium in Queensland, other than placating those academics and ideologues who have the idea that uranium is political kryptonite - and I don't think it is."
Mr Katter said the Queensland Government gave an abrupt "no" to uranium mining rather than a clear rationale.
"That's a poor outcome for Queenslanders," he said.
Mr McGrady said he would be talking to the State Government "at every opportunity" about developing a uranium industry in the state's northwest.
"I will be promoting anything at all that brings industry and development to the city of Mount Isa," he said.
He didn't campaign on the issue, but said his support for uranium mining would not surprise his supporters.
"What I did say is that I wanted to see Mount Isa open for business again," he said.
"Everybody in the city knows my position on uranium mining."
Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said the LNP had no plans to develop Queensland's uranium resources.
The government had identified other mining and energy issues as "being significantly higher priority than uranium mining", Mr Cripps said.
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