‘Ridiculous’: Red and green tape hampering mining industry
THE mining industry's night of nights has heard the Mackay region's resources sector pays $1.4 billion in wages and employs 73,000 people fulltime both directly and indirectly.
Overall, the sector tips in $12.2 billion into Mackay's gross regional product which is almost half the region's total economy.
Speaking at the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards at the MECC tonight, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry had not only strictly adhered to the advice of health authorities to minimise the spread but had also implemented even further measures.
"Mackay is the heartbeat of our resources industry in Queensland, and it's also a barometer for how our sector is tracking," he said.
"And I know everyone in town is delighted at the sustained growth we are seeing in activity and jobs despite the impacts from COVID-19.
"In response to COVID-19 the Prime Minister and his National Cabinet defined mine sites as essential activities and the Queensland Government reiterated the importance of the sector and announced the sector as an essential service to Queensland.
"To us, the health and well-being of the 372,000 men and women working in the state resources sector and the communities in which we operate have always been the number one priority for the Queensland's resources sector as we combat this invisible virus.
"New procedures include health questionnaires for visitors and suppliers, temperature testing at mine site entries and before flights to mine sites, improved separation and sanitisation, staggered crib breaks, and no non-essential visitors to mine sites.
"In order to ease pressure and help lighten the load on health workers in regional areas, resources companies funded centres for testing COVID-19, donated money towards vaccine trials and contributed testing equipment to hospitals."
Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector was often thought of on a huge scale, he said it was also associated with small businesses, small towns and local regions.
He said the QRC's new "You can count on us to help Queensland recover" campaign was filmed in Clermont featuring local miners, workers and business owners.
"Frankly, the time it takes to get projects moving in Queensland these days and to get through all the red and green tape is ridiculous," he said.
"We can be stronger, and Queensland can be stronger, but we need a shared commitment and unwavering support from the Government.
"The resources industry wants Queenslanders to be fully aware in the lead-up to the October election that a strong mining and gas sector is essential to the state's economic survival and recovery.
"As a minimum, the resources industry is calling on the State Government to streamline the regulation process and keep royalty taxes stable for the next 10 years to attract large-scale global investment.
"With perhaps the exception of agriculture, the resources industry is more tightly bound with the development of regional Australia than any other part of our economy."