Canberra warns Aurizon could derail resources export growth

9 April 2018

Queensland’s LNG and metallurgical coal commodities are not only delivering for the State but the nation with Australia’s resources and energy exports forecast to arrive at a new record of $230 billion in 2017-18, according to the Office of the Chief Economist.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the figures in the Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) highlight the importance of resources to the wider economy but noted in the outlook was a ‘major concern’ about Aurizon’s decision to pre-empt the regulator.

“Today two major international coal producers Glencore and Anglo American slammed Aurizon over its move to unilaterally change its maintenance program and the Chief Economist supports those concerns.

“Despite the positive numbers today the biggest dark cloud on the horizon is Aurizon with its threat to halt 20 million tonnes of coal exports. That is a loss of $4 billion in exports and $500 million in royalties which help pay for the teachers, nurses and police.

“The March quarter figures forecast Australia could be the largest exporter of LNG by 2019 and with nearly 40 percent of LNG flowing from Gladstone already the State Government will be relying on the resources sector to achieve its Trade and Invest Strategy target of ‘Queensland’s share of national overseas exports to 22 percent and maintain through to 2022.’

“While these numbers are encouraging we must continue to compete for every contract, innovate to stay globally competitive, and earn the support of our governments, and the people who elect them.”

The Queensland resources sector now provides one in every $6 dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 16,400 businesses across the State all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

Click here for the Resources and Energy Quarterly.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360

Background:

Australia’s major resources exports are set to experience healthy volume growth to 2022-23:

• Copper exports up from 920 kilotonnes (kt) in 16-17 to 1040 by 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 2.1%
• Nickel up from 175 kt to 256 kt by 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 6.5%
• Zinc up from 1,008 to 1626 kt in 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 8.3%
• LNG 52 Mt to 79Mt in 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 7.2%
• Metallurgical coal up from 177 Mt to 210 Mt in 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 2.9%
• Thermal coal up from 202 Mt to 208 Mt in 22-23 — an annual growth rate of 0.5%