QRC urges Queenslanders to ‘Protect Your Job’ on election day

18 October 2020

The Queensland Resources Council has launched a ‘Protect Your Job’ campaign urging Queenslanders to vote for candidates in the state election who recognise the importance of resources’ jobs and the value of the mining and gas industry to the state’s economy.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Queensland’s unemployment rate is now the highest in Australia at 7.7 per cent and forecast to rise to 9 percent, making job security and job growth voters’ number one priority at this election.

“The mining and gas industry offers incredible, well paid job opportunities and actively recruits female and indigenous employees to improve our sector’s diversity,” he said.

“Resources already supports the jobs of 372,000 people and 14,400 businesses, and last year contributed $74 billion to the state economy in direct and indirect spending.

“This highlights the need for people to vote for candidates who support jobs in the Queensland resources sector.

“Our industry is well positioned to keep doing the heavy lifting for the state economy,  but we need the next Queensland Government to be ready to work hand-in-hand with our coal, metals and gas companies to bring new projects and new jobs online as a top priority.”

Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector wants to keep growing and creating more jobs to keep Queensland moving.

“We have the resources and the expertise to expand in Queensland, but we need a state government and a parliament that understands how to balance its economic and environmental responsibilities to benefit the entire state,” he said.

“Keeping people in jobs and working and earning is the best way for Queensland to get through COVID-19 and is why we’ve launched our ‘Protect Your Job’ campaign, which asks Queenslanders to vote for candidates who support the resources sector.”

Mr Macfarlane said Queensland mining and gas companies pay Australia’s highest rate of royalty taxes, last year contributing $4.5 billion to the state budget to help fund teachers, nurses, doctors, roads, hospitals and schools.

“If the next government of Queensland can commit to holding royalty rates at current levels for the next 10 years, it would stimulate major new investments in mines and gas fields,” he said.

“That means resources companies would pay more royalty taxes overall into the State budget and fund more teachers, nurses, doctors, roads, hospitals and schools.”

Mr Macfarlane said both major parties have now committed to working with the resources sector to implement a Resources Industry Recovery Plan, a crucial first step to getting a cohesive, responsible plan in place to secure Queensland’s long-term economic security.

He said Queensland was extremely fortunate to be rich in coal, gas and metals and blessed with an abundance of renewable energy opportunities.

“Queensland has a golden opportunity to be Australia’s number one ‘Energy State’ because we have a broad energy mix available to power energy-dependent jobs, businesses and communities,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“We are showing the world how to add renewable energy generation into that mix in a way that lowers energy prices for everyone, creates opportunities to add value to Queensland’s existing exports and maintains our existing smelters and refineries.

“Building new renewable energy generation is a resource-hungry process and Queensland is well placed to service this demand.”

Queensland resources companies produce copper and rare earths to make magnets for wind farms and electric car motors, and coking coal to supply steel for wind farm towers. They also produce silica and limestone to make glass and bauxite to create aluminium for solar panels and supply fast-response baseload power to back up solar farms at night and wind farms when the wind doesn’t blow or blows too hard.

“Resources are at the heart of Queensland’s long-term future,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“That’s why the QRC supports the innovative CopperString Project in North West Queensland and the state government’s renewable energy company CleanCo.

“These initiatives, combined with the continued operation of the government’s coal and gas-fired generators operated by CS Energy and Stanwell and the development of new wind farms and solar plants, are important steps towards transitioning to lower emission electricity.

“When people go to vote on 31 October, we are asking them to remember the hundreds of thousands of Queensland men and women who work very hard to produce all these commodities and to service the needs of the resources industry,” he said.

“Their hard work benefits every single Queenslander through royalty taxes, export earnings, job and business opportunities.”.

Media contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893

Authorised by Ian Macfarlane, QRC, 133 Mary Street, Brisbane QLD 4000.