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Outlook for Queensland Resources Positive Despite Job Cuts

Queensland PositiveA federal economics adviser has forecast a positive outlook for the Queensland resources sector despite the recent spate of job cuts and stalled projects that have left the sector reeling.

The latest Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) report has found highly populated emerging economies would sustain increased demand for resources and energy commodities in the medium to long term.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said the outlook was positive for the sector despite the current downturn in commodity prices.

‘In 2013-14 mining and resources was the key contributor to Australia’s economic growth and although investment in the sector is easing, the report found production has ramped up over the past 12 months,’ Mr Roche said.

‘BREE projects Australia’s earnings from resources and energy commodities to increase at an average rate of seven percent a year from 2013–14 to total $274 billion in 2018–19.

‘Forecasts for metallurgical and thermal coal exports are up in addition to a strong outlook for alumina and bauxite. Rio Tinto’s Yarwun and Queensland Alumina Limited operations achieved strong production results in the first half of 2014 and higher production rates are anticipated in 2015.

‘China’s demand for copper is also a boon for Queensland with demand expected to increase at a rate of 3.5 percent annually to 2019.

‘Overall, BREE forecasts that over the next five years exports are projected to total $274 billion in 2018-19, with Queensland LNG exports reflected in these projections.’

Queensland’s first LNG shipments from Gladstone are expected to start by the end of 2014, rapidly ramping up over the period to 2019 to make Australia the world’s largest LNG producer, Mr Roche said.

‘In particular, the large scale projects being developed in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin by Adani and GVK/Hancock, will significantly increase coal production and exports primarily to the Indian markets.’

Over the medium term, Australia’s thermal coal production is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 3.0 per cent to 291 million tonnes in 2018-19, the report said.

In 2102-13, Queensland’s resources sector generated $1 in every $4 of the state’s economy and accounted directly and indirectly for one in every five jobs.

‘Our sector delivers the state wealth to create jobs and fund infrastructure such as hospitals and schools through royalties and taxes,’ Mr Roche said.

‘This is continuing in the face of continuing campaigns by global activists who are trying to kill off Queensland jobs through litigation and the pressuring of financial institutions.’

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