A weaker dollar and rising coal prices see Queensland and its resources sector in a positive position for the future, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
“A combination of factors including a substantial devaluation of the Australian dollar against record coal contract prices written in US dollars, Queensland is in an enviable position while other developed economies face the harsh realities of recession,” Roche said.
The Queensland Government yesterday released its mid-year fiscal and economic review which promoted long-term confidence and issued a royalty revenue forecast of slightly over $4 billion in 2008/2009, an increase of $388 million.
Roche said that the realities of the global economic downturn will however soon have to be faced.
“It’s clear that when coal prices are renegotiated next year, they will reflect the state of the global economy,” he said
“To meet the state’s forecast of $3.2 billion in royalties from the resources sector in 2009/2010, industry will need from government a determined focus on speeding up project approvals and on delivery of key infrastructure.”
According to Roche, while resources will be able to fortify the Queensland economy for decades to come, it must be noted that prices are subject to rapid changes.
“Governments also need to be mindful that mineral and energy royalties are subject to sharp shifts and they therefore need to take care locking in large recurrent expenditures against the expectation of continuing near-record royalty revenues,” Roche said.