Resource Sector: Despite downturn, Wide Bay reaping benefits

THE resources sector contributed a whopping $526 million to the Wide Bay-Burnett region's economy in the past financial year.

According to the Queensland Resources Council's (QRC) economic contribution report the resources sector directly employed 1,066 full-time employees in the Wide Bay-Burnett, down 24% on the previous financial year.

A further 2654 full-time workers were indirectly employed.

When combined, the resources sector provides employment to 3720 full-time employees in Wide Bay-Burnett.

The minerals and energy sector direct expenditure is down 17% to $259 million.

But despite the downturn, Regional Development Australia Wide Bay executive officer Scott Rowe said the resource sector still contributed positively to the region's economy.

He said if mega-mines like the Carmichael and China Stone were approved for the Galilee Basin, the region was in a position to take advantage.

"If they go ahead there would be potential to create upwards of 500 jobs in the Wide Bay Burnett," Mr Rowe said.

"There is still a great demand worldwide for traditional means of power generation."

"What this means for the people of Wide Bay-Burnett is $132 million was paid in wages to 1,066 full-time employees, with an additional 2,654 indirect jobs also supported by resources, while $127 million was spent locally on goods and services and local taxes and charges," QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.

"This spending benefited 530 local businesses while resources companies made contributions that benefited 29 community organisations in the Wide Bay-Burnett region," he said.

The report, an independent analysis prepared by economics experts Lawrence Consulting, showed the resources sector was responsible directly and indirectly for one in every five dollars in the state's economy and one in every six jobs in Queensland.

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