The creation of 50,000 new mining and gas jobs over the past financial year could be set to steer Queensland, Australia, towards a “recovery” following the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest employment figures have been revealed by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), which shows that jobs in the industry have now reached a total of 420,000 due to the recent additions.

The QRC’s data also confirmed that mining, gas and energy companies added a record 82.6bn Australian dollars ($58.9bn) to the state’s economy in 2019-2020, representing a A$5bn ($3.6bn) increase on the previous year.

QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said the latest data shows one in every five dollars in the state economy and one in six jobs are due to the Queensland mining and gas industry, highlighting the “significance of the sector to every Queenslander’s hip pocket”.

“The overall number of jobs supported by resources in Queensland has risen by 13% since June last year, increasing from 372,000 to 420,000-plus people now working across our sector,” he added.

“Of these, 52,676 people are directly employed in resources and a further 367,493 jobs are supported by the sector, which emphasises the significant flow-on benefits to the wider community from having a strong resources industry in Queensland.

“This is more important than ever as Queensland businesses continue to battle the headwinds of COVID.”


QRC CEO claims resources sector is a “huge contributor” to the Queensland economy

Macfarlane claims the resources sector is a “huge contributor” to the Queensland economy and to job security across the state, while he also took the opportunity to urge voters to “take this into account as they head to the polls” on 31 October, 2020.

“The QRC has been running a Protect Your Job campaign during the state election to make people aware of the economic importance of resources to Queensland, and to encourage voters to back candidates who will protect jobs and support the mining and gas industry,” he added.

“On top of the billions of dollars resources contributes to the state economy each year, our companies also pay Australia’s highest royalty tax rates, which collected A$4.5bn ($3.2bn) last year for the Queensland government.

“This money goes directly into the state budget to fund teachers, nurses, doctors, hospitals, schools and roads so that gives billions of reasons for voters to back candidates who support the resources sector.”

The latest QRC figures show Brisbane has maintained its position as Queensland’s largest mining town, with McConnel, Clayfield, Cooper and South Brisbane also in the top 10 electorates to “benefit economically” from the resources industry.

Macfarlane said he hoped voters in these Brisbane seats will vote to protect their jobs and back local candidates that “value and support the resources sector”.

The top 10 Queensland electorates ranked in order of economic contribution are McConnel, Mackay, Burdekin, Gladstone, Gregory, Whitsunday, Clayfield, Cooper, Mirani and South Brisbane.

According to the QRC, collectively these 10 seats contribute A$46.3bn ($33bn) to the Queensland economy and support the jobs of nearly 244,000 Queenslanders.