The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is calling on the next State Government to be a strong voice for the sector and the 309,500 full-time employees it supports. QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources industry underpins the economic prosperity of the state, and a government supporting the sector both inside and outside the Parliament would see more investment for regional economies.
“The resources sector drives our regional communities from Townsville and Mt Isa in the North through to Toowoomba and Roma in the South. Resources investment and jobs also make Brisbane the state’s biggest mining town – with $27 billion of Brisbane’s Gross Regional Product coming from the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said. “It’s paramount the next Queensland Government recognises the sector’s contribution to the economy, including $3.8 billion in royalties forecast for the Budget this year. In particular, QRC is asking for all parties to commit to a royalties freeze. The resources sector already does much of the heavy lifting for the Queensland economy, paying payroll tax, income tax, stamp duty, council rates and royalties. Those royalties help pay the wages of teachers, nurses and police in communities across the state. In addition, QRC is seeking a commitment that there will be no new restrictions imposed on oil and gas exploration and development through the extension of the Pristine Rivers policy in the Cooper Basin.”
The key priorities of QRC’s Election Policy Agenda – Resourcing Queensland’s Future are:
- commit to royalty stability – the current government’s commitment to royalty stability and a freeze on current royalty rates to be matched;
- provide regulatory certainty – stable, workable and predictable policy and regulation based on genuine consultation;
- deliver affordable energy – stabilise electricity costs while reducing emissions;
- stand up for leading environmental practice - support a positive and realistic policy and regulatory framework and assess activist claims on scientific merit;
- maximise investment in infrastructure - stimulate resources sector growth as well as regional development including by maximising funding from all government sources.
“By taking a proactive approach to exploration, standing up to anti-development activism, supporting projects and securing reliable and affordable power, thousands more construction jobs and permanent jobs could be created,” Mr Macfarlane said. “Queensland resources companies have absorbed a three-fold increase in wholesale electricity prices over the last five years. The economy needs reliable, dispatchable power at an affordable price. Queensland also needs to play our part in reducing emissions. The next State Government needs to deliver a balanced energy mix.”
Mr Macfarlane said every Queenslander, regardless of where they call home, had a vested interest in seeing our minerals and energy industries succeed and grow. “A strong voice from government will mean that the resources sector can continue to underpin the state’s economy, jobs, and royalties for decades to come.”