THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has called on the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to commit to establishing its newly announced $23 million Australian Future Mines Centre in Queensland, if elected.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced the planned centre during the recent Minerals Week in Canberra. 

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the announcement and called on the ALP to commit, if elected, to basing the centre in Queensland, "given the state’s resources diversity and prospectivity".

“Queensland is a resources superpower for Australia. Our sector employs 316,000 people in towns and cities and adds $62.9 billion to the state’s economy,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“It makes sense to establish a hub for resources technology, skills development and research here.

“We have well developed coal, LNG, bauxite and zinc industries. The untapped reserves of our powerhouse commodity, coal, were recently revised up to 63 billion tonnes," he said.

“But we also have prospectivity in a range of commodities, including critical minerals that will also build our future.

“And we have one of the world’s most significant exploration areas in the North West Minerals Province.

“The Labor Party’s proposal for an Australian Future Mines Centre could assist in increasing exploration in new resources and new reserves," Mr Macfarlane said.

“However, any investment in exploration must go hand in hand with a commitment to transparent and consistent regulation, streamlined with the EPBC Act where appropriate.

“There is little point in investing in exploration if new projects then stall through excessive red tape, lawfare, or inconsistent regulations," Mr Macfarlane said. In previous statments, the QRC has called out both Federal and Queensland Governments on stalling projects such as the Adani Carchichael Coal Mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin, for stifling economic investment and putting jobs on hold in the region.

“QRC also welcomes Mr Shorten’s $2 million commitment to encourage young Australians to study mining engineering," Mr Macfarlane said.

“Our resources sector is one of the building blocks of our economy. A strong resources sector benefits all Australians.”


SYDNEY has had an unprecedented decade of growth in its food and beverage (F&B) industries and that has positively transformed both the city’s hospitality economy and tourism appeal.

According to a City of Sydney report, from 2007-2017, the number of hospitality businesses in Sydney has jumped by around 45 percent, cementing the city’s status as one of the world’s great food and beverage destinations.

City of Sydney’s latest floor space and employment survey, which details the employment and floor space of every business in the City of Sydney area, showed the sector to be thriving in every respect. 

“The results show that the City of Sydney is the epicentre of jobs and growth in Australia,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. “By creating a city where people come first, we've seen that jobs and new businesses also follow. 

“To attract high-value businesses with good paying jobs, you need to attract employees. The strength of local communities is a key attraction for people choosing where to live, work or visit.

“High quality developments close to jobs, shops and transport, efficient transport and safe and attractive ways for people to move around, childcare, stunning community facilities, beautiful parks and open spaces, quirky laneways, small bars, main streets with thriving small businesses – these are all things we've actively pursued over the last 14 years.

“It's also important that the city is a welcoming, multicultural community where people feel included.

“Our recent results show that our hospitality industry is thriving. The number of food and drink businesses in our city has increased by 972 in the decade from 2007 to 2017.

“The number of workers and cafés also increased in the last decade, alongside restaurant seating capacity which rose by a phenomenal 50 percent, from 55,239 in 2007 to 83,045 in 2017.

“Alongside our late night development control plan, currently on public exhibition, we are looking to diversify the activity we see in our city after dark – further boosting our night-time economy.”

The survey results also reveal an increase of two-thirds in the number of restaurants from 727 in 2007 to 1,217 in 2017. There has also been a significant rise of around one third of food and drink workers over the 10-year period from 2007 to 2017, despite a slight decline in the number of food and drink workers since 2012.

In Sydney today, however, the average restaurant now employs nine workers compared with 12 in 2012 and 2007, and that corresponds with a 38 percent rise in the number of cafes from 761 in 2007 to 1049 in 2017.

City of Sydney’s manager of urban analytics Steve Hillier said the data suggested a greater appetite for eating out, with greater choice, number and variety of eateries.

“Restaurants and cafes are growing at a faster pace than our population and worker growth, which suggests a greater demand for eating out,” Mr Hillier said.

“The number of workers hasn’t kept pace with the growing number of establishments and that’s probably a reflection of the hospitality industry’s well documented issues attracting staff.”

Chinatown and CBD South recorded the strongest food and drink business growth over the decade, with 198 additional (42 percent increase), followed by the CBD and Harbour growing by 171 businesses (19.5 percent increase) and Green Square and City South with 149 additional businesses (104 percent increase).

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Hospitality business numbers                                                                                  













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THE Queensland Resources Council has welcomed a $300 million expansion of Sun Metals zinc refinery in Townsville which will create 350 construction jobs and 100 ongoing when complete.

“The city of Townsville will reap the rewards of this investment including through the creation of much-needed jobs,” Quenland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said. 

“It’s another example of resources doing the heavy lifting when it comes to underpinning the economies of regional cities and Townsville will continue to benefit with the recently announced investments into the Galilee Basin.”

Sun Metals has also thanked the State Government for its involvement after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Korea Zinc officials last month. Korea Zinc is the parent company of Sun Metals.

“I would also like to thank the Palaszczuk Government for its commitment to resources. With stable and reliable regulation Queensland will continue to attract new investment,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Zinc is a key ingredient in alkaline batteries and with Christmas upon us it’s a timely reminder not to forget to buy batteries if your Christmas presents need them and think of the old zinc cream on the nose at the beach.

“Our own data found resources delivered almost $1 billion ($925 million) to the Townsville economy in 2017-18, supported close to 6000 (5996) full time jobs while investing in 878 local businesses and community organisations.”

QRC is the peak representative body for Queensland ‘s resource sector.


RENEWED confidence in the resources sector is translating into an increase in exploration investment across all commodities, with the coal industry enjoying the biggest surge, a new report from the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) has found.

The annual QEC Exploration Scorecard found coal exploration has increased for the first time since 2011-12, going up by 27 percent.  Mineral exploration expenditure is up by 35 percent, and petroleum exploration expenditure is up by 5 percent. 
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the release of the annual QEC Scorecard capped off a strong year for resources.
“Our resources sector is at the heart of the Queensland economy,” Mr Macfarlane said. "It powers our state, it employs more than 316,000 people and it delivers almost $5 billion in royalty taxes that benefit every Queenslander.

“To ensure ongoing prosperity for all Queenslanders, and to invest in the infrastructure and services our cities and regions need, we must plan for the future now through new discoveries and new projects.”
QEC chair Brad John PSM said the positive sentiment showed Queensland’s resources sector was on a strong footing for the future.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see that this year’s survey showed the highest level of positive sentiment in the industry since the Scorecard began in 2011,” Mr John said.
“For the first time in the Scorecard’s history, explorers were positive about their access to investment capital and sentiment towards policy uncertainty also greatly improved.
“Our industry has worked hard with the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to improve the exploration permit process and we are now reaping the benefits,” Mr John said.
Mr Macfarlane said the positive results would be welcome news for every Queenslander, both those living in resources heartlands and those who work in Queensland’s biggest mining town – Brisbane.
“Our resources industry has transformed Queensland for the better over the last 25 years, and it is an industry of the future,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“We have good grounds to be confident, with The Fraser Institute naming Queensland as the highest ranked jurisdiction in Australia for geological potential, and the third best in the world.
“But we cannot take our success for granted.  The resources industry will continue to work with all levels of Government to deliver the policy and regulatory certainty that is essential for investor confidence and to translate potential into projects.
“Our priorities include identifying new prospects and new land releases, as well as making sure Queensland has the diverse skills base to underwrite our sector.
“Our resources sector continues to innovate, using advanced technology to deliver the best returns to Queensland, the highest standards of environmental sustainability, and to continually increase safety.
“But the most fundamental part of our future resources strength is investment in new prospects.
“We want to give all Queenslanders access to the opportunities of working in the resources sector.
“Resources jobs are high paying jobs.  A recent release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the mining industry has the highest median weekly wage – at $1950.  And the resources industry is close to parity when it comes to matching the median hourly wage for men and women – there’s a gap of $1.50 or less.
“A strong resources sector means a strong and prosperous Queensland for all of us.”

Click here for Exploration Scorecard.



THERE HAS BEEN another marked decline in the number of Australians migrating between cities and regions, while movement within capital cities is on the rise.

University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, who have analysed Census data, said local moves within capital cities increased by more than five percent on average from 2011 to 2016.

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences researcher Elin Charles-Edwards suggested the divergence in trends could be a product of declining levels of home ownership, with renters generally more mobile than owner-occupiers. 

“The largest growth was in greater Perth, where local moves increased by 14 percent,” Dr Charles-Edwards said.

“Local moves increased by 10 percent in Sydney and 9.5 percent in Melbourne, while Brisbane was below the national average at three percent. 

“The inner-city construction boom is also contributing to residential mobility as people take the opportunity to live in newer dwellings closer to the city centres.”

Dr Charles-Edwards said longer distance moves between Australian cities and regions had declined by 25 percent since the mid-1990s, likely reflecting prevailing economic conditions.

“For example, internal migration to Queensland has been at historically low levels following the end of the millennium mining boom,” Dr Charles-Edwards said.

“It may also be a result of longer term trends, such as the impact of population ageing, with older people less likely to move than younger people.

“An increase in dual income households could make it more difficult for couples to relocate, while worsening housing affordability is keeping young people in the parental home for longer.

“Temporary forms of mobility, such as fly-in fly-out arrangements for workers, may have also become a substitute for permanent relocation.”
Australia remains one of the most mobile societies in the world, with 39 percent changing their address every five years, compared with a global average of 21 percent.

Dr Charles-Edwards said understanding patterns of internal migration was key to understanding the transformation in the pattern of human settlement.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics study, Population shift: Understanding internal migration in Australia, is authored by Dr Charles-Edwards, emeritus professor Martin Bell, Jim Cooper, and Aude Bernard.


THE LATEST Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data has underlined the importance of maintaining a strong resources industry to keep driving jobs growth, with the sector now creating more than one job an hour according to Queensland Resources Council  chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

According to the QRC chief executive, the detailed quarterly labour force data showed the number of Queensland resources jobs for the August quarter was up "an incredible 17 percent compared with the same time last year".

“In the space of a year the Queensland mining industry has created an extra 10,000 jobs. That’s the equivalent of a town about the size of Kingaroy, Gracemere or Bowen,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

“Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in Australia at the moment, but investments in the resources sector are doing their part to create jobs and opportunities – especially in regional areas.

“It’s more important than ever that we keep our resources sector strong," he said.

“There is more good news on the horizon for the resources sector, with Queensland’s most valuable export seeing new or reinvigorated projects right across our State so far this year, and we can add to that this week’s progress on the Adani project.

“The resources sector creates good, high paying jobs in every town and city in Queensland. We look forward to working with all levels of Government to continue attracting new investment.

“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.”


AUSTRALIA’s 2018 offshore petroleum exploration areas were released at the annual Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference in Adelaide recently.

A total of 21 areas have been released for offshore petroleum exploration. They are located in the Bonaparte Basin, Browse Basin, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Bight Basin, Otway Basin and Gippsland Basin. 

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said the Federal Government’s annual release of offshore petroleum exploration acreage encouraged investment and contributed to the responsible development of Australia’s oil and gas resources.

He said all release areas were supported by industry nominations indicating that interest in exploring offshore Australia’s basins “remains strong” despite the significant decrease in the number of exploration wells drilled in recent years.

In order to attract robust industry participation in the bidding process, the released areas are selected to reflect geological and geographical diversity to cater for the full gamut of petroleum exploration companies.

Mr Canavan said Geoscience Australia continued to support industry activities by acquiring, interpreting and integrating pre-competitive datasets that are made freely available as part of the agency’s regional petroleum geological studies.

The regional evaluation of the petroleum systems in the Browse Basin have been completed and work continues on assessing the distribution of Early Triassic source rocks and related petroleum occurrences across the North West Shelf.


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