Queensland’s resources sector continues to drive jobs and investment with a $55.1 billion contribution to the state’s economy in 2016-17, which supported the equivalent of 282,633 full-time jobs.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane has launched the eighth annual economic contribution report at the QRC’s Annual Lunch in Brisbane with Senator Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
Mr Macfarlane said 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’s a jobs story this year with direct full-time employment in the resources sector growing by more than 12 per cent to 38,150. That’s a lot of truck drivers, diesel fitters and port workers,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Over the past eight years the sector has contributed more than half a trillion dollars ($531 billion) to the state’s economy, including $243 billion in direct spending, and has supported on average more than 360,000 jobs per year.
“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.
“Every Queenslander – regardless of where they call home – shares in the wealth of the sector through royalties paid to the State Government. They have surged 74 per cent to $3.8 billion, which would pay the wages of 56,000 teachers or 54,000 police or 57,000 nurses.
QRC President Rag Udd said continued investment in the resources sector was essential to ensure long-term jobs right across our 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,” Mr Udd said.
Wages totalled $5.1 billion while the sector purchased from more than 16,400 local businesses and made voluntary contributions to 910 community organisations and charities around the state which in turn helped them to provide vital services to all Queenslanders.
Mr Macfarlane said a big part of the economic contribution story was the sector’s efforts to buy locally.
“It’s always good to see regional Queensland businesses winning work from their big city cousins. As a proud Toowoomba resident, I am particularly pleased to see that QRC uses Reuben Lawrence, an independent economist based in the regional city of Toowoomba,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Reuben’s report, an independent analysis prepared by Lawrence Consulting, found a continued transition of the resources sector from an investment phase of record capital expenditure into an operational phase of making sure that new production capacity is delivered as efficiently as possible.
“Our coking coal will continue to provide an essential ingredient into steel making, 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.
“Yet again Brisbane is the biggest mining town in Queensland with the sector contributing $23.6 billion or 20 per cent of Brisbane’s total gross regional product. Resources supported over 113,000 jobs across the city and the sector spent $9.6 billion locally.”
All of the sector’s economic contributions were achieved while operating within a strict environmental management framework and using only 0.1 per cent of Queensland’s land mass.
Coal was the largest contributor accounting for 68 per cent of spending, followed by oil & gas at 16 per cent and metals at 12 per cent.