resources industry has called on the state and federal governments
for help to save thousands of jobs after a study showed that a third
of the state’s coalmines are running at a loss.
report, commissioned by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), also
found that more than half of the mines producing thermal coal for
power stations were losing money.
really time for government to sit down with the industry and see what
we can do to hang onto the jobs we’ve got,” the chief executive
of QRC, Michael Roche, told ABC radio.
said governments must consider what support could be given to the
industry, such as tax relief. He said conditions were some of the
worst faced in decades.
the anti-mining group Lock the Gate said it was “outrageous” for
miners to claim more help from the state government, which he said
already gave $3bn a year in various subsidies to the industry.
industry is inherently cyclical and there is no case for industry
relief. The industry should have been prepared for the inevitable
downturn,” said spokesman Drew Hutton.
is a long-term business and it obviously did a very poor job in
managing its cashflow. The Queensland government must resist
subsidising mining and rewarding them for poorly managing their
estimated that 21,000 jobs had been lost in the industry in
Queensland in the past two years as demand from China has slowed and
commodity prices have plunged.
would like government to think about what we need to do to protect
the remaining 60,000 jobs in the Queensland resources sector,”
Lock The Gate said the industry provided less than 3% of jobs in
Queensland and that rehabilitating the landscape from the impact of
open-cut coal mining in particular would create far more employment
than financial relief for existing operations.
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Australia Institute produced a report in 2014 which said that over a
six-year period to June 2014, state governments in Australia spent
$17.6bn supporting the mineral and fossil fuel industries. Queensland
received the largest share, $9.5bn. The QRC rejected the claims.
mining has been hit hard by shifts in the world economy. Australian
thermal coal was selling for $US140 a tonne five years ago but now
fetches around $US50.
burning of coal in China is in serious decline as its industrial
expansion moderates and the government in Beijing tries to reduce
fossil fuel use in order to curb air pollution. Demand from India and
other developing Asian nations is expected to pick up some slack but
not enough to compensate the huge fall in Chinese use.
operators are struggling to survive in the changing market and even
the mighty BHP Billiton, the biggest mining company in the world, has
been taken by surprise by the falling prices.
are some of the worst conditions they have faced in decades,” Roche
said. “Some companies are teetering on the brink.”
added that mining companies should not have to pay such high
royalties to the government.
are many companies paying royalties to the government yet they are
not making any profits,” Roche said. “There is a whole range of
government-imposed and sanctioned costs and charges that really need
to come under the microscope.”
not looking for a bail out,” he said. “We are looking for the
government to recognise that one of the biggest job generators in
this state, one of the biggest sources of government revenue, is
under huge pressure.”
said the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, had agreed to a
meeting. “We are looking for a partnership to protect the maximum
number of jobs in the resources sector,” he said.
Australian Conservation Foundation’s chief executive Kelly
O’Shanassy said: “This report, commissioned by the industry
itself, shows the coal industry is finally realising the age of coal
coal industry employs only 0.4% of the Australian workforce, but gets
hundreds of millions of dollars every year in subsidies. Despite this
special treatment, it appears the industry is not financially