JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The resources sector continues to drive employment and investment in Queensland, having contributed A$55.1-billion to the state’s economy in 2016/17 and supported the equivalent of 282 633 full-time jobs.
This is according to the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC’s) eighth yearly economic contribution report, which QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane launched on Tuesday in Brisbane with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan.
Macfarlane commented that, “with the election campaign making the front pages”, the latest report was a timely reminder of the importance of the resources sector to the Queensland economy.
“It is a ‘jobs story’ this year, with direct full-time employment in the resources sector growing by more than 12% to 38 150. That’s a lot of truck drivers, diesel fitters and port workers,” he said.
Over the past eight years the resources sector has contributed A$531-billion to the state’s economy, including A$243-billion in direct spending, and has supported on average more than 360 000 jobs a year.
The minerals and energy sector contributed about A$25.5-billion in direct spending to the Queensland economy in 2016/17, comprising A$5.1-billion in wages and salaries to about 38 150 full-time resident employees (excluding all contract workers who work on mine sites).
The sector contributed A$16.4-billion in purchases of goods and services from almost 16 500 local businesses (including contract payments), community contributions and payments to local government (including rates, developer contributions and other payments); and A$4-billion in state governments payments, royalties, stamp duty, payroll tax and land tax.
The sector also made voluntary contributions to 910 community organisations and charities around the state, which in turn helped them to provide vital services to all Queenslanders.
Coal was the largest contributor, accounting for 68% of spending, followed by oil and gas at 16% and metals at 12%.
Brisbane was the largest mining town in Queensland, with the sector contributing A$23.6-billion, or 20%, of Brisbane's total gross regional product. Resources supported more than 113 000 jobs across the city and the sector spent A$9.6-billion locally.
“Our coking coal will continue to provide an essential ingredient into steelmaking, our gas will feed the energy needs of Asia and Europe while our alumina, bauxite, copper, gold, lead, mineral sands, silver and zinc will be much sought after in a rapidly urbanising Asia,” Macfarlane said.
He added that despite facing many policy headwinds this year, the sector was directly and indirectly responsible for one in every six dollars in Queensland’s economy and one in every eight jobs.
“Green shoots are now emerging across the sector, which is good news for the regions of Queensland,” Macfarlane noted.
He pointed out that every Queenslander shares in the wealth of the sector through royalties paid to the state government, which have surged by 74% to A$3.8-billion. This would pay the wages of 56 000 teachers, or 54 000 police or 57 000 nurses.
Macfarlane also noted that independent economist Reuben Lawrence’s analysis had found a continued transition of the resources sector, from an investment phase of record capital expenditure into an operational phase of ensuring that new production capacity was delivered as efficiently as possible.
QRC president Rag Udd added that continued investment in the resources sector was essential to ensure long-term jobs right across the state.
“We must compete for every contract, innovate to stay globally competitive, and earn the support of our governments, and the people who elect them,” Udd stressed.