Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt

Under attack Treasurer given support by an unlikely ally

UNDER fire Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has found support from an unlikely ally - the resource sector.

Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche will on Thursday deliver a speech praising the work Mr Pitt has done as treasurer.

In a speech he will deliver at the Mining Resources Convention in Brisbane on Thursday, Mr Roche will praise the work of Mr Pitt and his predecessor, now opposition leader, Tim Nicholls.

"The Curtis Pitt I deal with is not the same person that I read about in the media. He is in fact a highly competent and intelligent holder of the office of Queensland Treasurer, following in the tradition of predecessors such as Gordon Chalk, Llew Edwards, Keith De Lacy and Tim Nicholls," he will say.

"I have been particularly bemused by the delight parts of the media and some industry groups seem to take in Treasurer bashing.

"Whether it was Wayne Swan or Joe Hockey at the Federal level, or Tim Nicholls and now Curtis Pitt at the State level, there is no pleasing some people."

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager Nick Behrens yesterday called for Mr Pitt to be replaced if the state's economy didn't turn around.

Mr Roche's speech will point to growing confidence in the coal market as reason for optimism in the mining sector.

"We are cautious about claiming the coal price rally is indeed a recovery from the severe downturn of recent years but we are nevertheless encouraged to see hard coking coal selling for well over US$100 and thermal coal nudging US$70," he will say.

"There are plenty of people out there putting up their hands to get back into the market because they can see the upturn coming, but we need to give them all the reasons possible to choose to invest in Australia and in particular in Queensland.

"I am having multiple conversations with private equity funds who are already backing the recovery or are seriously considering doing so."

Mr Roche will give the speech on Thursday morning. - ARM NEWSDESK

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