Queensland’s resources sector contributed $62.9 billion to the State’s economy in 2017-18, a 14 per cent rise on the previous year, according to new figures from the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane launched the organisation’s ninth annual economic contribution report, saying it reaffirmed the importance of the resources sector to the Queensland economy and Queensland communities.
“Resources have delivered double digit jobs growth supporting 316,267 full time positions after a 12 per cent increase over the last year. It’s not just diesel fitters and port workers but also butchers and chefs, lawyers and environmental scientists who have a job connected to the resources sector in communities across Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Our sector has a resolute commitment to working with local communities and delivering the benefits from our natural resources to all Queenslanders. Resource companies have contributed to 1,260 community organisations which is up 38 percent on last year. Community organisations provide vital services to all Queenslanders.
“Over the past nine years the sector has contributed almost $600 billion ($594 billion) which is larger than the economy of Hong Kong.”
He said data showed the sector was responsible for one in every five dollars in the economy and one in every eight jobs.
QRC President Rag Udd said continued investment in the resources sector was essential to keep the sector competitive.
“Our sector makes up almost 20 percent of the Queensland economy but we must not get complacent. We must embrace technology to stay globally competitive, compete for every contract and earn the support of our governments and the people who elect them,” Mr Udd said.
Mr Macfarlane said an important chapter of the economic contribution story was the sector’s reach across the State.
“From Toowoomba to Weipa the sector is employing locally and buying locally spending $19.3 billion with Queensland suppliers – an increase of 19 per cent,” he said.
“In the Far North, bauxite developments have seen the economy surge 77 per cent to $959 million while achieving massive Indigenous employment targets. Indigenous participation in our sector has grown to 4 per cent which is a genuine representation of the State’s 4 percent Indigenous population.
“In the North West the State Government’s North West Minerals Province blueprint helped drive a 25 percent increase in total jobs to 9641 and added $1.7 billion to the economy (up 31 percent).
“It was more good news for coal with total employment rising 14 percent to 215,656 and the metals industry saw all employment grow to 50,179 (up 37 percent) contributing $9.3 billion to the economy (up 51 percent).
“Coal was the largest overall contributor accounting for 69 per cent of economic contributions, followed by metals at 15 percent and oil and gas at 13 percent.
“This report illustrates international markets see Queensland coal as an essential ingredient in steel making and energy production. It shows the world wants our bauxite, copper, gold, silver and zinc for electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart phones while our gas is feeding the energy needs of Asia and beyond.
“Queensland is in the box seat to be Australia’s resources superpower for decades to come, which will be welcome news to every Queenslander.”