The report confirms the dependence of the Qld economy on the resources sector

Today’s release of the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) annual economic contribution report shows the resources sector delivered $116.8 billion in economic benefits to the state economy in 2022-23 and supported more than half a million local jobs.

This is $22.2 billion more than the previous financial year and is one in every four dollars spent in Queensland.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the figures showed what was at stake after the Queensland government’s sudden and unprecedented introduction of the world’s highest coal royalty taxes to the sector, deterring investment in new, greenfield projects.

„Queensland’s current prosperity is the result of past decades of investment by mining and energy companies around the world and companies here,” he said.

„Until that level of large-scale, long-term investment continues, Queensland’s economy will look very different in the future. We shouldn’t be giving companies a reason not to invest here.”

„To put this into perspective, coal companies accounted for 72 per cent of our sector’s total contribution to Queensland’s Gross Regional Product (GRP) last financial year, or $83.7 billion.

Mr Macfarlane said the 2022-23 Economic Contribution Report showed an increase in the resources sector’s contribution to Queensland in every key indicator.

„The number of direct and indirect jobs supported by the resource sector rose from 450,000 to 532,000 over the 12-month period, accounting for one in six jobs in Queensland,” he said.

“Mining and energy companies spent a total of $33 billion, purchasing goods and services from nearly 16,000 Queensland businesses and supporting 1,400 local charities and sports clubs.

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„The direct cost of metals mining to local businesses and charities rose 41 percent, and the number of jobs supported by gas producers increased 18 percent.”

Mr Macfarlane said a strong resources sector was critical to Queensland’s continued prosperity and funding government services and infrastructure such as roads, police, hospitals and schools.

He said the darkest cloud on the horizon was the government’s decision last year to 'kill the golden goose’ by introducing exorbitant new taxes on coal producers.

BHP, the world’s biggest miner, has already announced it will not invest in new development projects in Queensland while the current royalty regime is in place.

Mr Macfarlane said the annual 'nest egg’ created for Queensland’s economy by the resources sector was at risk unless the Government was prepared to reconsider its decision to raise coal royalty taxes to globally uncompetitive levels.

„Queensland’s exorbitant tax on coal producers doesn’t compare to the rest of the world and there’s a reason companies aren’t investing in new projects here,” he said.

“Coal royalty tax revenue exceeded $15 billion last financial year, and Queensland Government estimates suggest it will be at least $5 billion this year, but could be much higher.

Payments by resources companies to the Queensland Government have more than doubled in the last financial year.

“Royalties alone rose from $8.9 billion to $18.1 billion, before you include land and payroll taxes, transfer duties and other regulatory costs imposed by state government.

“Suddenly wringing this amount out of a cyclical, commodity-based industry like the coal sector over two years was a big mistake and was poorly received by the market.

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“Under the previous tax regime, coal producers would have paid about $14 billion in royalties over this period, so this would cost the sector an additional $6.5 billion over two years.

„This is coming from a government that promised no new taxes before the last election.

“If the government wants the resources sector to continue to support economic growth and jobs, it needs policies that encourage new investment and stimulate a pipeline of new projects in the coming years and decades.

„Now, that’s not happening because of a policy decision that undermines Queensland’s reputation as a safe and reliable place to invest in new projects.”

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