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QRC: resources sector powering Queensland

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Global Mining Review,

Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), has said that the state’s resources sector continues to drive jobs growth and investment in communities with a AUS$62.9 billion contribution to the state’s economy in 2017 – 2018.

Macfarlane launched the ninth annual economic contribution report at the Port of Brisbane with Senator Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.

Macfarlane said: “Resources have delivered double digit jobs growth supporting 316 267 full time positions after a 12% increase over the last year. It’s not just diesel fitters and port workers but also butchers and chefs, lawyers and environmental scientists who have a job connected to the resources sector in communities across Queensland.”

“Our sector has a resolute commitment to working with local communities and delivering the benefits from our natural resources to all Queenslanders. Resource companies have contributed to 1260 community organisations which is up 38% on last year. Community organisations provide vital services to all Queenslanders.

“Over the past nine years the sector has contributed almost AUS$600 billion which is larger than the economy of Hong Kong.

“All of the industry’s economic contributions were achieved while operating within a strict environmental management framework and using only 0.1% of Queensland’s land mass.

“The return from our resources sector is strong and consistent. Our most recent data shows the sector is responsible for one in every five dollars in the economy and one in every eight jobs. It’s essential we have stable and reliable regulation to attract new investment and continue to lift the State’s prosperity.

“Brisbane is still the biggest mining town in Queensland supporting 142 447 jobs and contributing AUS$28.9 billion (up 12%) to the State’s economy, which is three times more than Mackay.

“Every Queenslander – regardless of where they call home – shares in the wealth of the sector through the royalty taxes paid to the State Government, which grew by 12% to AUS$4.3 billion.

“These royalties provide funding for new hospitals, police stations and schools or the wages of 63 000 teachers or 61 000 police or 64 000 nurses.”

QRC President, Rag Udd, said continued investment in the resources sector was essential to keep the sector competitive.

“Our sector makes up almost 20% of the Queensland economy but we must not get complacent. We must embrace technology to stay globally competitive, compete for every contract and earn the support of our governments and the people who elect them,” Udd said.

Macfarlane said an important chapter of the economic contribution story was the sector’s reach across the state.

“From Toowoomba to Weipa the sector is employing locally and buying locally spending AUS$19.3 billion with Queensland suppliers – an increase of 19%.

“In the Far North, bauxite developments have seen the economy surge 77% to AUS$959 million while achieving massive Indigenous employment targets. Indigenous participation in our sector has grown to 4% which is a genuine representation of the state’s 4% Indigenous population,” Macfarlane said.

“In the North West the State Government’s North West Minerals Province blueprint helped drive a 25% increase in total jobs to 9641 and added AUS$1.7 billion to the economy (up 31%).

“It was more good news for coal with total employment rising 14% to 215 656 and the metals industry saw all employment grow to 50 179 (up 37%) contributing AUS$9.3 billion to the economy (up 51%).

“Coal was the largest overall contributor accounting for 69% of economic contributions, followed by metals at 15% and oil and gas at 13%.

“This report illustrates international markets see Queensland coal as an essential ingredient in steel making and energy production. It shows the world wants our bauxite, copper, gold, silver and zinc for electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart phones while our gas is feeding the energy needs of Asia and beyond.

“Queensland is in the box seat to be Australia’s resources superpower for decades to come, which will be welcome news to every Queenslander.”

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