The latest data from the Australian Bureau Statistics confirms the importance of the mining industry to the Australian economy, says the Minerals Council of Australia.
Despite the overall economy contracting, mining industry GDP increased 4.9 per cent in 2019-20 and totalled $202 billion, MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said.
This made mining Australia’s largest industry, with a 10.4 per cent share of the economy.
“In a year where the nation has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining industry has been a pillar of stability,” Ms Constable said.
She said there were 240,000 people directly employed by the resources sector and a total of 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs in the mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sectors.
“Growth in mining industry GDP has allowed it to hire new workers while adhering to strict health and safety protocols that have protected people in their workplaces and communities around Australia,” Ms Constable said.
“Mining companies support thousands of regional businesses around Australia and their workers who provide essential services that keep the industry operating.
“While putting jobs on the ground and paying their fair share of taxes and mineral royalties, the mining industry also support the local communities they partner with through donations to local hospitals, charities, child care centres and schools.
“To ensure mining continues to drive Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery governments should support the industry with faster project approvals, competitive tax rates, co-investment in modern skills programs and more flexible workplaces.”