The NSW Minerals Council has warned government officials that they must avoid the temptation to drift backwards to protectionism as a means of coping with the current economic crisis.
NSW Minerals Council General Manager of Policy & Strategy, Sue-Ern Tan, said “NSW would be the biggest loser from a return to protectionist ideologies. Advocacy of protectionist policies is short sighted and harmful to our State’s long term interests.”
“The State’s economy benefits greatly from its trade relationships with Asia, including the growing powerhouse economies of China and India,” Tan said.
“Before we turn our backs on our international trade partners, even in such tumultuous times, we must consider the bigger picture. Far from exporting jobs, our international trade relationships support jobs in NSW.
“There is already a huge appetite in China for many of Australia’s commodities. Asia continues to account for almost 90% of NSW coal exports, which deliver $6.2 billion to the State economy annually.
“The NSW coal industry directly employs over 14,000 people and supports almost 65,000 indirect jobs. Many of these jobs are in regional and rural NSW.
“Coal royalties return around $1 billion to the NSW Government, money which is absolutely essential to provide nurses in our hospitals, teachers in our schools, police on the beat and many other public services.”