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Resources CEOs’ confidence at five-year low

A long-running quarterly Queensland Resources Council survey of resource company CEOs has found that confidence in the regulatory environment in Queensland is at a near-five year low.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said compared to a year ago, the latest findings revealed a stark change in the confidence of the CEOs confidence about regulation and doing business in Queensland.

“This time a year ago after a change of government in Queensland our sector deemed it business as usual for the resources sector, but in the space of 12 months a lot has changed,” Mr Roche said.

“While the Labor Government’s commitment to royalty stability for its first term of government is welcome there has been anything but stability elsewhere in the regulation of the sector.

“Our sector has been the target of a raft of regulatory changes – some enacted – and many more proposed – therefore it’s little wonder the resource leaders’ sentiment has substantially changed.”

The survey also reveals that 44 per cent of CEOs said that costs such as infrastructure charges, royalties and other taxes and charges were somewhat of significantly more expensive in Queensland than in other jurisdictions.

“One of the biggest issues facing our sector is that in recent years the sector has been loaded up with significant increases in local government rates and this came to the fore in the comments from the sector bosses,” Mr Roche said.

He noted one company CEO as saying: “See how long a mayor would last if they proposed a 500 per cent increase on all ratepayers.”

Mr Roche said the majority of respondents to the survey did reveal that if the state government were able to reduce industry costs such as royalties this would improve the business outlook.

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