In his address to Energy Mines and Money in Brisbane, Mr Macfarlane made the case for continuing investment and support for the industry, while also noting potential headwinds as labour supply tightens as the industry continues to grow.
“Coal exports are up by 20%, minerals by 10% and we are seeing big growth in LNG which is up by 20%,” he said.
And this, he reminded the audience, already translates to $4.4billion in royalties, and supports the record $45.8B infrastructure spend across Government. He said that for every $3 that government spends $1 comes from the resources industry.
As one of the most colourful political advocates for the industry, MacFarlane used the platform to reinforce the value of the industry to the State, and the nation’s economy.
He set the scene by stating that over 80% of Queensland’s exports come from just two regional industries – Resources, and (Coal, metals & gas) and Agriculture (beef & crops).
But there are potential risks for the industry, particularly in maintaining a pipeline of skilled employees. He said there was a 46 per cent increase in job advertisements for resource positions and that 52% of QRC members plan to increase the workforce in next 12 months, but that a growing workforce comes with its own set of challenges.
Mr Macfarlane said that the industry wasn’t attracting enough people to the industry, despite its best endeavours.
He used the forum to address some of his long-term frustrations, imploring industry to continue to drive interest in STEM, focus on stringent safety standards, and tell the story of the industry’s leadership in the development and adoption of technology.
“We offer an attractive wage – $144,000 per annum is average wage – but we are also an industry with a sophisticated technology edge that is attractive to young people – once they know about it,” he said.
“Resources is at the forefront of new technology – from process and materials, new gadgets – we need to talk about this. It is a very, very smart industry,” he said.
“The resources sector delivers for all of Queensland, every Queenslander, wherever they live and whatever they do.”
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is a not-for-profit peak industry association representing the commercial developers of Queensland’s minerals and energy resources. QRC works to secure an environment conducive to the long-term sustainability of minerals and energy sectors in Queensland.
About Energy Mines and Money
Energy, Mines and Money Australia will attract over 500 attendees, showcasing over 40 strategic mineral, coal, oil and gas opportunities, matching projects with global investment throughout a two-day conference and exhibition at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 20-21 June 2018. Supported by the Queensland Government, the programme will examine the trends and forecasts that will shape investment and development for the mining, oil and gas industries moving forward.
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