The mining industry can help push NSW to the top of the country’s economic table after it rated last for growth, the NSW Minerals Council says.
The statement comes on the back of the CommSec "State of the States’ report, which rated NSW last for economic growth while Queensland and WA, the nations mining powerhouses, lead the country.
Minerals Council CEO Stephen Gaililee explained that mining is the state’s top private investor, and it can drive NSW forwards.
"Despite the good start made by the new Government in turning around the State’s economic fortunes, we are lagging behind the other states on a range of key indicators," Galilee said.
"The opportunity for driving real economic growth here in NSW is huge and that’s why, like the other mining states, we need to turn that potential into reality.
“Responsible mining represents a significant opportunity to lock in long-term economic benefits for the people of NSW and to help make us number one again.
"We have a wealth of resources across a range of commodities and there is already around $23 billion worth of mining and infrastructure projects on the books. Sensible policy making on land use and taxation will be essential to growing that project pipeline to attract more jobs and investment in mining and other sectors as well."
Queensland most recently had a reported $142 billion worth of potential resources projects.
"The economic benefits from mining have grown in recent years. Royalty returns to the people of NSW increased by 223% from 04-05 to 08-09 to $1.28 billion, providing a rising revenue stream for the government to fund and expand essential services like schools, hospitals and police," Galilee said.
"The industry also injects real wealth into the economy through 90,000 direct jobs in mining and minerals processing, high wages spent in mining communities and payments to suppliers in associated industries."
In a Deloitte’s report, it stated Queensland is looking to garner approximately $7 billion in mining royalties annually, and may even exceed this figure by 2020.
Galilee added that mining in NSW can "boost the State’s economic performance in a meaningful and sustainable way over the coming decades”, moving it from the bottom of the economic table.