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Queensland Resource Council survey: resource chiefs' concerns continue

World Coal,

According to the Queensland Resources Council’s quarterly State of the Sector survey, the legislation coming out of the Queensland Parliament is more of a concern to resource company CEOs than global macroeconomic conditions.

The survey has revealed that, for the second quarter in a row, concerns about poor and uncertain regulation are again outweighing concerns about the state of the market for resource commodities.

“The constant changes to industry regulation seems to be really starting to bite into industry confidence,” Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said.

Certain comments from the CEOs include:

  • “Government regulation/instability and the influence of the green/activist vote is becoming a huge issue in terms of risk and cost…”
  • “Uncertainty around Financial Assurance and the moveable feast of mine closure regulations are currently having an impact on business confidence and may impact future investment decisions…”
  • “The fragmented nature of both State and Federal Govts has the potential to provide adverse policy outcomes due to trade-offs with independents and minority parties…”

Roche said that CEOs also nominated the areas in which they want to see urgent reform.

Environmental regulation, such as fixing the uncertainty over the government’s Chain of Responsibility legislation, is top of CEO concerns, but also prominent are reform of the land court and local government rate setting.

“The message from the sector is that genuine consultation must take place with stakeholders affected by changes to legislation, as opposed to the new laws being rammed through,’” Roche said. “The mere two weeks allocated for consultation on the government’s legislation arising from the FIFO parliamentary inquiry is another example of inadequate consultation.”

“However the latest State of the Sector report has some positive news. Coal exports are at record highs, with 222 million t shipped offshore over the past financial year,” he added. “Productivity in Queensland resources is also high with the coal industry producing around 2800 t per employee, up by 170% in the past four years.”

“If there is community complacency about the importance of our sector, we are determined to address that by continuing to remind people that our sector provides one in every five dollars of the Queensland economy and one in six every jobs,” concluded Roche. “The recent federal election results shows that those politicians who do support our sector and the jobs of those people in their electorates are in turn supported by the voters.”

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