Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

Resource sector injects billions into CQ communities

MACKAY is reaping the rewards of being the gateway to the Bowen Basin, a new report has found.

Resources companies injected $4.2 billion in Mackay during 2018-19, according to the latest local content report.

This meant Mackay local government area was the second largest recipient of sector spending in Queensland for that year, behind Brisbane's $12.4 billion.

The report found more than 4200 industry employees lived in Mackay, with a combined associated salary of $609 million.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the sector's spend with Queensland suppliers jumped from $19.3 billion in 2017-18 to $22.4 billion last financial year - the highest investment recorded in four years.

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"Almost $70 million was invested with Indigenous businesses which is a 72 per cent increase on the $40.5 million in 2017-18," Mr Macfarlane said.

"This means jobs now and ongoing jobs for regional Queenslanders and companies are benefiting from the significant increase in capabilities from the well-established supply hubs in Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Toowoomba along with southeast Queensland.

"Our sector's economic reach is far greater than the communities in which we operate with Mackay and Brisbane accounting for the two largest local government areas for spending and neither have a mine or a gas well."

Table showing industry spend in each local government area of Queensland. Picture: supplied
Table showing industry spend in each local government area of Queensland. Picture: supplied

He said the resources sector was aware of the important role small business would play in powering the state's jobs growth post COVID-19.

"A clear message from this year's case studies is buying locally is not just good business, it's often a fast-track to innovation through the state's growing METS sector," Mr Macfarlane said.

He noted the report findings were calculated before the impacts of COVID-19.

Mr Macfarlane said industry needed greater certainty around investment for the spending to continue.

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"The resources sector needs the government to endorse our recovery plan to reduce red tape, streamline project assessment and approval processes and provide royalty stability over 10 years," he said.

"The QRC's comprehensive 40-point plan has been presented to the Government's Queensland Industry Recovery Alliance and all members of parliament."