The Queensland resource sector’s capacity to drive the State economy through the global economic slowdown has been highlighted in Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser’s recently released Economic and Fiscal Update, according to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said that despite a forecast $4 billion drop in government revenues since the 2008-09 mid-year budget review in December, mineral royalties would continue to underpin government revenues.
“It’s instructive to note that this financial year and for the next three years, Treasury is forecasting royalty returns higher than any other year in the history of Queensland,” Roche said.
“Prior to this financial year, the sector’s highest return to the people of Queensland was $1.5 billion in 2006.
“Treasury projections have minerals and energy resources continuing to generate more than $2 billion in royalties for the next three years after a record $3.6 billion in 2008-09.”
Roche said the best way of protecting the State’s leading domestic revenue source in 2008-09 and turning around a forecast $1.57 billion deficit was to ensure that state government policies encouraged resource sector growth.
“There is no doubt that global minerals and energy demand will rebound and that Queensland’s resource industries are well positioned to hit the ground running when it happens,” he said.
“What we need to avoid developing is a policy mindset that penalises long-term growth for short-term patchwork repairs.
“Royalty, taxation and regulatory stability in such challenging times are essential for the well-being of the resources sector.
“More than a quarter of a million Australians have their fortunes linked to the continuing growth of the Queensland resources sector.”