Ian Macfarlane, chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), has called on the Queensland state government to support the resources industry via an election policy agenda.
Macfarlane cites the resources sector as a major contributor to the state economy and hopes the state government can support it “both inside and outside the parliament,” he said. In particular, he has requested a freeze on royalties, increased investment towards regional economies a commitment to no new restrictions on oil and gas exploration in the Cooper Basin. Queensland resources companies have absorbed a three-fold electricity price increase over the last five years.
“The resources sector already does much of the heavy lifting for the Queensland economy, paying payroll tax, income tax, stamp duty, council rates and royalties,” he explained. “Those royalties help pay the wages of teachers, nurses and police in communities across the state.
“The resources sector drives our regional communities from Townsville and Mt Isa in the North through to Toowoomba and Roma in the South. Resources investment and jobs also make Brisbane the state’s biggest mining town — with $27 billion of Brisbane’s gross regional product coming from the resources sector.”
The QRC’s election policy agenda makes five key points, including the aforementioned commitment to royalty stability; affordable energy; leading environmental practice; infrastructure investment; and regulatory certainty (i.e. consultation-based, workable policy).
“By taking a proactive approach to exploration, standing up to anti-development activism, supporting projects and securing reliable and affordable power, thousands more construction jobs and permanent jobs could be created,” Mr Macfarlane said.