OPINION: Safety will always be our number one priority.

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It’s important that our political leaders properly engage with the resources sector to fully understand the challenges and opportunities facing our biggest export industry that supports the jobs of over 450 thousand Queenslanders.

I was very pleased to host a visit to BMA’s Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in the Bowen Basin by Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, Shadow Minister for Resources, Condamine MP Pat Weir and Shadow Minister for Northern Queensland, Burdekin MP Dale Last.

The QRC will continue to host MP tours in the lead-up to next year’s state election to ensure parliamentarians from all parties understand why our industry is so important to Queensland’s future.

Some of the challenges facing the resources sector in Queensland, along with the enormous opportunities it provides, were highlighted in two reports the QRC released in September.

The Local Content report confirmed the benefits the resources sector generates for Queensland stretch right across our economy, particularly in regional areas.

Resources companies spent close to $27 billion purchasing goods and services from businesses located in Queensland, which is 77 per cent of total expenditure.

The report demonstrates their commitment to support local businesses and the flow-on benefits include new business and employment opportunities right across the state.

Our three-monthly check of industry sentiment through the QRC State of the Sector report revealed skilled worker shortages, government policy settings, rising costs and global economic conditions are among the main concerns for resources companies operating in Queensland.

These issues threaten Queensland’s capability to capitalise on the emerging opportunities in the resources sector from the global transition to a lower emissions future as international demand for our new and traditional minerals, including coal, continues to grow.

Government policy uncertainty jeopardises the investment required to deliver the new projects that will keep the Queensland economy strong and create the jobs of the future.

The QRC again called on the Queensland Government to reconsider its snap decision to impose the world’s highest coal royalty tax rate at a time when it should be doing all it can to attract investors.

The importance of the resources sector was also placed in the national spotlight at Minerals Week in Canberra, hosted by the Minerals Council of Australia.

It was also an opportunity to put the case directly to our political leaders about the need for Government policy that supports investment and jobs in an industry that is crucial to Australia’s economic prosperity.

The Women in Resources National Awards were held during the event. where Queensland had outstanding finalists in all six categories. Congratulations to BMA’s Joana Sousa who won the Technological Innovation award.

Finally, as Chief Executive of the QRC I represented the industry at a very moving Miners Memorial in Mount Isa on September 19.

Tragically we lost two miners in the past year, Dylan Langridge and Trevor Davis, and we extend our deepest sympathies to their families, friends and colleagues.

The Queensland Resources Council and its member companies remain committed to the goal of a mining industry free from fatalities and injuries.

Safety will always be our number one priority.

Ian Macfarlane

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive

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