With another independent study confirming a ‘supercycle’ of resource sector growth, infrastructure delivery and regional planning are now priorities of national interest, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
Commenting on the release of the BIS-Shrapnel report Mining in Australia 2008-2023, Roche said the forecast capacity of the resources sector to insulate the Australian economy from recession for the next five years hinged in Queensland on a new level of commitment from governments to address business and community infrastructure challenges.
“As the report points out, the record prices being received now for a range of mineral commodities must be substituted in the longer term by increased output on the back of unparalleled levels of new industry investment,” Roche said.
“One of the keys to that output growth is a concerted effort by governments and infrastructure providers to meet the export supply chain expectations of customers such as the rapidly expanding export coal industry in central and southern Queensland.
“Coupled with a commitment to meeting export targets, governments need to demonstrate to resource communities that they are serious about planning for growth and to ensuring that essential services at least keep pace with the roll-out of expensive development projects.
“Driven by demand from India and China, there’s a whole new landscape emerging for Queensland’s minerals and energy sector and governments need to be playing a more proactive role in maximising the long-term dividends to Queensland taxpayers, and in particular those delivering this new wealth,” he said.
“We need less of politicians talking about ’planning for after the resources boom’ and more about ’planning for keeping the resources supercycle rolling on.
“If we in Australia don’t properly plan for the resources supercycle, we will simply cede the growth opportunities to countries who get the planning right.”