The resources industry has kept Queenslanders working and earning through COVID-19 and is poised to play a central role in employing more regional Queenslanders, Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said today.
Speaking from Mackay, Mr Macfarlane said the QRC’s latest State of the Sector report found 43 per cent of resource companies were planning to decrease their use of interstate workers in the long term.
“This is welcome news for Mackay and will lead to more jobs in the resources sector as the State’s economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The resources industry already contributes $6.7 billion to Mackay’s economy, supports 30,055 full time jobs and invests $3.5 billion dollars with local businesses and community organisations, so is an important part of this region’s prosperity.”
Mr Macfarlane is in regional Queensland this week to promote the QRC’s Resources Industry Development Plan in the lead-up to the State Election.
He will highlight the message behind the QRC’s ‘You can count on us to help Queensland recover’ campaign, now in its fourth week, which is centred around the sector’s enormous and ongoing contribution to the state economy and to jobs.
The QRC’s State of the Sector report is based on feedback received from mining, energy, minerals processing, contracting, exploration, electricity generation and oil and gas extraction business leaders between July and August.
Mr Macfarlane said the report proved resources was an economic life raft for Queensland, with more than 80 percent, or $63 billion, of Queensland’s exports over the past 12 months coming directly from the sector.
“This represents $12,000 of export sales for every man, woman and child in Queensland,” he said.
“This is a result more than 370,000 Queensland resource sector workers can be very proud of and is something we don’t want the government or the community to take for granted.”
Mr Macfarlane said the report found State Government red tape was a major headwind facing the sector, with some projects waiting more than a decade for approval.
“We’re calling for the government to introduce a more streamlined assessment process for new projects and to manage the expansion of existing projects, coupled with a streamlined, best practice regulatory framework in which to operate,” he said.
Mr Macfarlane has also called on the State Government to commit to 10 years of royalty stability to improve Queensland’s reputation as a stable and attractive investment destination.
“Business as usual post-COVID is simply not going to cut it,” he said.
“We want the Queensland Government to stimulate new projects, new investments and new markets by getting behind the resources industry, because that’s what will lead to new jobs and better long-term economic stability for every Queenslander.”