Qld Treasurer rightly rejects pessimism about mining industry

I’m pleased to see Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls has rejected the doom and gloom around the state of the mining industry in Queensland, as reported in the Brisbane Times this morning (Qld mining industry still strong), pointing to strong growth in coal exports:

“In the months of July and August the total volume of seaborne coal shipped out of Queensland ports was a record,” he told attendees at a Queensland Property Council lunch on Wednesday.

“We shipped over 34 million tonnes over those two months. Over 16.4 million tonnes in July alone.”

I’ve previously covered the pick up in coal exports over the last twelve months, and it’s good to see the trend continued in August 2013:

Good news on Qld coal exports and tourism

The Treasurer would also be pleased to see that an essential piece of infrastructure for the coming LNG-led boom is in place, with the Toowoomba Chronicle reporting:

Dalby to Curtis Island coal seam gas pipeline connected

I’ve previously rejected pessimism about the mining industry and have commented on the huge boost to the Queensland economy that will come from the commencement of LNG production and exports at Curtis Island off Gladstone in the next couple of years:

Qld’s economic future bright if we look beyond short-term

Other recent posts of mine on the resources sector include:

Mining employment in Qld continues to grow, but at slower rate

More on the mining slowdown

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3 Responses to Qld Treasurer rightly rejects pessimism about mining industry

  1. The Happy Hillbilly says:

    Respectfully Gene, I think you’re cherry-picking a bit here.

    Or do you think that exports will more than offset the winding down of the investment phase which is generally responsible for creating about 90% of all the jobs.

    When growth in coal and LNG exports automatically equals strong growth in jobs, let me know.

  2. The Happy Hillbilly says:

    Apologies Gene, “cherry-picking” was a bad description.

    What I meant was that the growth in exports – or at the very least, in the capacity to do so – was already a given following the huge mining investment boom. It was always going to be the outcome anyway. The whole idea of rushing to build more was to be able to export more.

    I just don’t think that a few more royalty dollars are going to come close to replacing the economic activity generated by a huge wave of on-the-ground projects. The best case scenario has mining capex falling by close to half over the next few years and as far as I can see, it’s the capex that creates the jobs and activity – selling more dirt makes a few more bucks for governments and then a lot of the remaining benefits flow straight to foreign shareholders, given the very heavy foreign ownership of our mining sector.

    Again – try telling your average mine worker about how great things are looking. It’s their jobs and the spending of the wages (and all the associated spending on building new/expanded mines, railroads, port faciltiies and plants) that is important to the local economy, not how much an investor on Wall street stuffs in his pocket.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for the comment, HH. It’s certainly worth examining more closely which I’ll try to do soon. A lot depends on where the income from exports goes, and if a lot of the income ends up going overseas then the benefits to the local economy will be much smaller.

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