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OPINION: ANOTHER BIG YEAR FOR RESOURCES

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The Queensland Resources Council was deeply saddened by the death of young mine worker, Luke O’Brien, at the Saraji Mine near Dysart on January 15. We express our deepest condolences to Luke’s family, who are dealing with an unimaginable loss, as well as his friends, work colleagues and the first responders involved. The resources sector is committed to continuous improvement in workplace safety.

2024 will be another big year for Queensland’s resources sector, and that includes here at the QRC. We will shortly be welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer, Janette Hewson, to lead the peak body for Queensland’s mining and energy sector and our state’s most important export industry into a new era.

Janette is very highly regarded in the resources sector with over 25 years’ experience at senior executive level and is currently Executive Vice President, ESG at Santos.

She is a born and bred Queenslander who has previously been a QRC Board Director and worked with South 32 and Peabody Energy.

Janette’s industry experience and proven leadership skills make her an ideal advocate for the Queensland resources sector at a time of change, opportunity and challenge for our industry.

One of Janette’s first big events as our new CEO will be the QRC/Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) Resources Awards for Women.

The awards are a highlight of our annual events calendar and will be held on International Women’s Day, March 8, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We have announced an outstanding list of finalists in seven categories from Weipa, Bluff, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Ridgelands, Southport, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

These awards are a fantastic opportunity to promote the diverse careers available in the resources sector for women and it’s pleasing to see a 40 per cent jump in the number of women employed in trade positions in the industry over the last 12 months.

Our industry target is 30 per cent female participation in the workforce by 2026 and we are well on our way to achieving this. I encourage you to get behind any finalists from your organisations or communities who are up for an award this year.

The full list is available in the media section of the QRC website.

Looking ahead, 2024 will be an important one for the Queensland resources sector with the state election due on October 26.

The QRC will be working hard to ensure the issues that are important to our industry, particularly in regional areas of Queensland, are part of the conversation and debate during the election year.

We congratulate Steven Miles on being named Queensland’s new Premier and look forward to working with the Government and all Members of Parliament to support the ongoing growth and development of the resources sector.

The QRC will also continue its public awareness campaign to ensure the community is aware of the serious threat posed to future investment and jobs now that the Queensland Government has introduced the highest coal royalty taxes in the world.

This is deterring new investment in a broad range of new projects, not just coal projects, and will have a detrimental impact on the state economy.

Judy Bertram

QRC Acting Chief Executive Officer

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