A local economic group will tell a Mount Isa parliamentary hearing into Northern Australia that they remain optimistic about the government's agenda in the north despite receiving little or no communication from the Office of Northern Australia or the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund.
The Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone is giving evidence on Thursday October 10 at the Senate Select Committee on the effectiveness of the Australian Government's Northern Australia public hearing at Ibis Styles.
In their prepared submission MITEZ said that since they were established in 1994 they have been a strong advocate for further developing the north and has attended Developing Northern Australia conferences across the north to stay informed.
"However apart from one or two visits by representatives to the MITEZ office or our general meetings, we receive very little by way of communication, newsletters, updates and information from the Office of Northern Australia or the NAIF," MITEZ said in the submission.
"Nevertheless we are encouraged that the Australian Government continues its focus on developing Northern Australia and we remain optimistic that some major projects will take place in the MITEZ region in the near future."
They applauded the possible NAIF funding for the CopperString 2.0 project but said the Office of Northern Australia needed to have a greater presence and be seen on the ground in the regions to discover more opportunities and ideas.
MITEZ will tell the inquiry extending the life of existing mines in the region was also crucial and that the government could help with finance for common-user infrastructure and haulage roads.
"Some of (our) more mature mines are now reaching the end of their mine life due to diminishing ore reserves, however if the remaining lower grade ores were to be supplemented with ores from surrounding mines that can be blended and treated using existing plant and infrastructure then this can be a win for both mines," they said.
"(This) would create jobs and export income as well as mineral royalties and taxes for Australia."
MITEZ is also promoting the establishment of irrigation schemes in the week when the Hughenden Irrigation Company lays its foundation stone.
A more unusual idea is the possible use of bio-mass as renewable energy using the feral weed prickly acacia which is "the number one environmental problem in places along the MITEZ corridor".
While you are here subscribe to our weekly email to your inbox at 6am every Friday