Resource sector spending up 40% despite market slowdown

The resource sector's contribution to the Queensland economy is up 40% on 2010-11 figures.
The resource sector's contribution to the Queensland economy is up 40% on 2010-11 figures.

THE resources sector contributes one in every four dollars of the state's economy and one in every five jobs, according to new figures released by the Queensland Resources Council.

The council will release statewide spending data for 2011-12 that confirms despite testing market conditions, the minerals and energy sector has again increased its economic contribution to the state.

The data demonstrates that on the back of higher capital expenditures, resource companies created $36 billion in gross regional product over the 12-month period.

These companies include the state's producers of coal, metals, gas, alumina and aluminium, mineral sands, electricity and liquid fuels.

This represents a 40% increase on the resources sector's economic contribution in 2010-11.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche said that by using postcode-aggregated spending data supplied by its largest member companies, the minerals and energy sector was calculated to have spent $28 billion directly on goods and services from Queensland suppliers, and $8 billion in wages to 64,300 direct workers who resided in Queensland.

"On top of that direct spending, the sector via its high capital intensity and linkages with sectors such as transport, construction and manufacturing, supported and created another 416,000 jobs in those other sectors," Mr Roche said.

"Queensland resource companies also paid $3.2 billion in royalties to the Queensland Government and about $11 billion in taxes to the Federal Government in 2011-12.

"This economic contribution by the resources sector is an extraordinary outcome for Queenslanders when you consider the sector's physical footprint covers just 0.09% of the state's land mass," Mr Roche sad.

"Importantly, what the results show is that resource company spending spreads across Queensland, with barely a postcode not experiencing the benefits of economic stimulus from the sector."

The strongest growth in resources sector spending occurred in the Wide Bay-Burnett (+144%), the North West (+102%) and the Far North (+80%).

Mr Roche said that, as had been seen with the current downturn in coal markets, there was tremendous benefit to Queenslanders of producing a diversity of resource commodities as a hedge against increasingly volatile global market conditions. 

"The challenge now is to ensure there is a strong pipeline of projects across all commodities to sustain and grow the resources sector in Queensland," he said.

"Achieving that strong pipeline of new projects will require a clear focus on addressing cost disadvantages such as workforce inflexibility, ballooning tax and royalty imposts and regulatory green tape and red tape."

Details of the report - compiled by QRC and Lawrence Consulting - including reports at the Queensland Statistical Division and Local Government Area level can be found at www.queenslandeconomy.com.au.

Topics:  gladstone, queensland, queensland resources council, resources, spending



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