QUEENSLAND can thank its buoyant resources sector for its better-than-expected employment performance, according to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector had created more than 8400 jobs over the last 12 months – “the equivalent of a new job every hour” – and this was effectively a 0.4 percent cut to Queensland’s unemployment rate.
“Without the contribution of the resources sector, Queensland’s unemployment rate would be 6.7 percent,” Mr Macfarlane said. “Without the contribution of the resources sector, Queensland’s unemployment rate would be the nation’s highest by 0.5 percent at 6.7 percent.
“Our industry needs stable and predictable policy to give it the confidence to invest more, export more and ultimately employ more in the sustainable, competitive and safe development of our coal, minerals, petroleum and gas,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Without that, our sector’s confidence to invest, export and employ will be severely constrained.”
Mr Macfarlane said if the Palaszczuk Government continued to back the resources sector, the resources sector would continue to back Queenslanders, with more jobs and more opportunities.
“Every hour our industry is creating another job and investing another million dollars. Every week our industry is exporting another billion dollars and we are returning almost $100 million to the Palaszczuk Government in royalties,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“In regions like Mackay, the jobs impact has been significant. The unemployment rate has more than halved to 3.3 percent. Mackay is a critical services centre for the Bowen Basin.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has indicated her government’s long-term support for industry in the Bowen Basin, Mr Macfarlane said, and was reported as saying at a recent local event: “For as long as the world needs steel, it will look to the Bowen Basin as its pre-eminent supplier of metallurgical coal.”