Govt policy uncertainty the handbrake on resources sector optimism

  • Posted 06 July, 2023
  • Media Releases

6 July 2023

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says a new report has found that uncertainty created by Government policy and regulation changes is overshadowing optimism over new opportunities for the state’s resources sector.

The latest QRC State of the Sector report confirmed Queensland resources companies are ready to embrace the opportunities from the transition to a decarbonised future.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said resources companies are making a substantial contribution to Queensland’s economy and the drive to a cleaner future, and the State Government needs to consult with the industry to achieve the best outcome for Queensland.

“Queenslanders are now more aware than ever of the importance of our resources sector and understand the need for policies that promote future investment and jobs,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“However future investment in new projects and jobs, including in the minerals needed for a lower emissions future, is not guaranteed.

“It’s clear that sudden changes to policy, particularly the Queensland Government’s decision to impose the world’s highest coal royalty tax, is acting as a handbrake on the state’s resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Encouragingly, 41 per cent of our member company CEOs say the transition to a decarbonised future will lead to increased demand for the resources we have here in Queensland.

“That includes the rare earths and critical minerals to build and power future technologies, as well the metallurgical coal to provide the steel for the wind turbines, EV’s, transmission towers and other infrastructure necessary to reach our lower emissions targets,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“But without the right policy settings from Federal and State Governments, Queensland’s resources sector risks missing out on the investment in new projects to make the most of the emerging opportunities.

“There is a pipeline of projects worth more than $100 billion in a range of commodities, including those needed for low emissions energy and net zero technologies that is now under a cloud because of the policy uncertainty in Queensland.

“As the industry has repeatedly warned, resources companies simply won’t commit to the big investment decisions required to ensure a pipeline of future projects while uncertainty created by sudden policy changes, remains such a key issue of concern,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The State Government should be supporting Queensland resources companies who are ready to play their role in the energy transition.

“47 per cent of CEOs say they are likely to invest in technologies and projects to reduce emissions according to the State of the Sector report.

“That includes the use of fuel reduction, carbon capture and the use of electric trucks.

“Close to a third are already relying on renewable energy to power part of their operations, and we expect that figure to grow rapidly in coming years.

“We again call on the Queensland Government to work with the industry to achieve the best outcome for our state.”