Regulation changes to save mining jobs: Newman

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says changes to mining laws will help save jobs and investment in the state's north west.

The state's unemployment rate has risen from 6.1 per cent to 6.2 per cent in December.

The proportion of the state's working age population in work or looking for work has dropped to 66 per cent.

Mr Newman has told Mt Isa's business community that reducing mining regulation and reversing a ban on uranium will help the north west.

He also wants to bring back plans to create a special mining region but does not have any new funding announcements.

"I'm not a politician who runs around sprinkling fairy dust," he said.

He says that is not because people voted for Katter's Australian Party (KAP) which holds the federal and state seats in the north west.

"As a government we listen to all the members, all the 89 members of Parliament," Mr Newman said.

"We don't say 'oh it's the Katter party so they'll get nothing' - that is something that's outrageous, that's anathema to me." He says as the state's finances get back on a more stable footing more money will be handed back to regional areas.

"I can assure people locally that we're totally committed to do that and we know that people in regional areas have been neglected," Mr Newman said.

"That has ended with this government, with the Royalties for Regions program and as we get more money in state coffers we'll be able to put more money back into the state program." The Premier's visit includes a tour of the Mount Isa mine which is the region's largest employer.

Mayor Tony McGrady has been a vocal advocate for uranium mining, and the business community is hoping the government's decision to lift the ban on mining will stimulate the north west's economy.

Councillor McGrady is a former Labor Minister, but he says the Premier's plans will help the region.

"Right around the area there's potential deposits of uranium," he said.

"It's a great time to be living in places like Mount Isa." It is Mr Newman's first visit to the city in almost two years.

He says he would like to spend more time in the region and - undoubtedly would like to reduce the influence of KAP.

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