Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council today unveiled the latest quarterly QRC Resources CEO sentiment survey during his speech at the Capricorn Enterprise lunch in Rockhampton.
“The survey revealed that the state government’s decision to set the ambitious 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 is a major concern to the resources sector, and that increases in electricity prices were making it hard to do business in Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“We know that energy security, supply and cost are a big concern to all households and businesses across the country, and our industry leaders have reflected that in the quarterly survey.”
One company CEO said the target was: “madness given the experience in South Australia and the fact that the Queensland Government would institute this policy given the quality of coal resources we have in this state and the recent lessons in SA demonstrates just how far out of touch this government is”.
Mr Macfarlane also told the audience that in addition to the CEOs concerns revealed in the survey, another issue had hit the sector through the recent court judgment that affected Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) in the Native Title Act.
“On February 1, the Federal Court in Western Australia rejected a $1.3 billion native title deal with local Indigenous people because some representatives did not sign off on it,” he said.
“This ruling will affect new projects, including Adani, and has the very real possibility of halting a significant number of projects in Queensland, particularly those that have commenced since 2010. The decision also affects infrastructure, national parks, ports and railway projects.
“The ruling could cost thousands of jobs, create a massive strain on the country’s sovereign risk profile, and make foreign investors extremely nervous.”
It is expected that the required amendments will be introduced to federal parliament this week and the QRC is calling for bipartisan support to pass the Bill to ensure investment and jobs in the sector are not jeopardised.
“We must also think about those Indigenous Australians who support co-existence and are reaping the economic and social benefits of working with other industries, including the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.