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2023 QRC Annual Forum and Lunch

  • 9 November 2023
  • Plaza auditorium and Plaza ballroom, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Forum‘Funding the Future – Should the finance and insurance sector be picking winners for Australia’s resources-rich future?’

Sponsored by Mining Pro

On 9 November 2023 we held our Annual Lunch and State of the Sector Forum at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The event featured a panel of experts including Nick Rees from Bridgend Capital Advisory, who discussed the challenges faced by traditional bank lenders in a decarbonising world. Brad Russell from McCullough Robertson and Jessica Schade from Lockton highlighted similar issues in the insurance market. Tony Scott from HSBC detailed how the bank supports critical minerals essential for energy transition.

Moderated by journalist Wendy Kingston, with insights from outgoing QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane, the panel explored key challenges in Queensland’s resources sector. The financial sector’s commitment to net zero policies was noted, resulting in reduced debt capital and insurance, despite strong global demand for Queensland’s commodities.

The forum also covered rapid policy developments affecting the industry, including Queensland’s high coal royalty rates and government intervention in the energy market with price caps. The Australian Government’s recent increase of its critical minerals loan facility to A$4 billion was seen as a positive step, though it highlighted the traditional lending market’s insufficiency.

The discussion touched on a Federal Parliamentary committee’s recommendation for a self-funding insurance model for the resources industry. However, the panel noted the lack of political will to implement this, suggesting the industry must find its own solutions.

The panel concluded that the resources industry, especially carbon-intensive projects, cannot expect a reversal of current financial and policy trends. Instead, the industry must develop and implement solutions to ensure viability through the zero-carbon transition. The path for new critical minerals projects remains a work in progress.


Annual Lunch – Keynote speaker – Senator Susan McDonald, Shadow Minister for Resources and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia

Sponsored by Anglo American, Civeo, Coronado, Glencore Queensland Metals, Hastings Deering, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hitachi, Komatsu, Liberty Industrial, Liebherr, Mitsubishi Development, M Resources, SGM Environmental and WRL Shipping

Senator Susan McDonald commended outgoing QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane for his dedication to the resources sector. She underscored our sector’s $116 billion contribution to Queensland’s economy and its support for over half a million jobs.

Senator McDonald highlighted the many opportunities in coal, gas, and critical minerals, while voicing concerns over government interventions like price controls and royalty hikes, which create uncertainty. She emphasised that coal and gas remain vital for energy and manufacturing.

Senator McDonald called for stable policies and urged industry leaders to champion the sector’s contributions and engage their workforce and communities.

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