QRC welcomes recovery budget

The Federal Government’s allocation of $1.2 billion to create international partnerships on low-emissions technology projects as well as fund hydrogen and carbon capture use and storage initiatives in its 2021 budget has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

The government will invest a further $1.6 billion over 10 years to incentivise investment in technologies (identified in its Technology Investment Roadmap and Low Emissions Technology Statements), grow new export industries, create jobs and reduce emissions

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector was committed to meeting the challenges of climate change and reducing emissions, including through low-emission technologies, and funding on this scale would drive new investment into this crucial area.

“The resources sector is the nation’s economic engine room and, as this budget demonstrates, has kept producing, earning and employing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which has benefited all Australians,” he said.

“While we’re fortunate global demand for commodities such as coal and gas is increasing, we’re also at a critical time in Australia’s history where emissions targets need to be met, so we welcome the pragmatic initiatives in this budget to help make this transition possible.”

Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector will continue to lead Australia through its economic recovery from COVID-19.

“Nationally, mining investment is forecast to grow at double the rate of non-mining investment,” he said.

“Global demand for Australian commodities is also bouncing back, with exports expected to grow by 5 percent in 2021-22 and by 2.5 percent in 2022-23.”

Mr Macfarlane said Queensland’s resources sector continued to perform well under pressure, with mining jobs across the state rising by more than 15 percent in the 12 months to February.

“Over the five years to February 2021, mining jobs grew by more than 34 percent, which shows just how important the resources sector is to the day-to-day lives of every Queenslander through a strong state economy and job opportunities,” he said.

Other budget initiatives welcomed by the QRC include:

  • $100 million investment in exploration to allow explorers to spend more time in the field looking for Qld’s next big mineral discovery;
  • $58.6 million investment to increase the supply of gas with field trials in Queensland’s North Bowen and Galilee Basins;
  • Inclusion of Mount Isa to Townsville and Gladstone to Cairns regions in Regions of Growth pilot program;
  • $20.1 million over two years to deliver a Global Resources Strategy to diversify and strengthen Australia’s access to key export markets and reduce risk of trade disruptions;
  • Increased support for apprentices, mental health, Indigenous girls’ academies and STEM scholarships for women;
  • $275.5 million for four clean hydrogen hubs and a clean hydrogen certification scheme;
  • $100 million for projects to manage ocean habitats and coastal environments while reducing emissions;
  • $29.3 million to maintain timeliness of Commonwealth environmental assessments and support delivery of policy reforms as part of the Government’s initial response to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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