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Natural resources plays vital role in Queensland economy

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World Coal,

The natural resources sector continues to play a vital role in underpinning the Queensland economy with an estimated AUS$55.7 billion contribution to the state’s economy – delivering the equivalent of 309 500 full-time jobs across Queensland in 2015 – 2016.

Michael Roche, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, launched the seventh annual economic contribution report at the Brisbane headquarters of BHP Billiton with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

“Despite another challenging year, the natural resources sector was directly and indirectly responsible for one in every five dollars in Queensland’s economy and one in every seven jobs,” said Roche. “The industry purchased from more than 20 000 local businesses, while resources companies made voluntary contributions that benefited 914 community organisations and charities around the state which in turn helped them to provide vital services to all Queenslanders.”

“These results signal the continued transition of the resources sector from an investment phase of record capital expenditure into an operational phase of making sure that this new production capacity is being delivered as efficiently as possible,” he continued. “Queensland’s expanded export capacity and more competitive cost structures see us well positioned to benefit from the current upturn in commodity prices”.

Across Queensland, coal was the largest contributor accounting for 58% of direct spending, followed by the gas sector spending 23% and metals sector spending 15%.

Roche believes the resources sector in Queensland will carry on its crucial role in the prosperity of the state with “the fundamental drivers of global demand for high-quality resources remaining strong.”

Since the first analysis in 2009 – 2010, the report found Brisbane again recorded the highest total economic benefit of AUS$27 billion in 2015 – 2016. Once again, Brisbane is Queensland’s largest mining town.

The sector contributes 25% to Brisbane’s gross regional product and supports more than 133 000 full-time equivalent positions, or around a fifth of the total workforce.

“Brisbane is home to some of the largest natural resource businesses in the world and is a gateway to the diverse and rich natural resource wealth of Queensland,” Cr Quirk said.

The report, an independent analysis prepared by economic experts, Lawrence Consulting, found that the industry still generates significant royalties for the Queensland government.

“Resources companies operating across Queensland paid a total of AUS$2.2 billion in royalties to the state government, which is equivalent to the wages of more than 36 000 teachers or 32 000 police or 30 000 nurses, Roche added. “Over the past seven years, the Queensland resources sector has contributed AUS$476 billion to the state’s economy, including AUS$217 billion in direct spending, and has supported an average of 374 000 jobs per year … The Queensland resources sector remains a tremendous good news story with a strong, ongoing operational future, with our coal and gas sectors well-placed to supply an energy-hungry Asia, which is still on a course of rapid modernisation.”

“Our coking coal will continue to provide an essential ingredient into steel making while our alumina, bauxite, copper, gold, lead, mineral sands, silver and zinc will be much sought after in a rapidly urbanising Asia … However, we must compete for every contract, innovate to stay globally competitive, earn the support of our governments, and of the people who elect them,” said Roche.

“Every Queenslander – regardless of where they call home – has a vested interest in seeing our minerals and energy industries succeed and grow,” he concluded. “All of the industry’s economic contributions were achieved while operating within a strict environmental management framework and only using 0.1% of the Queensland’s land mass.”

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