Questions without notice – Mining Industry

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Mr CHRISTENSEN: My question is to the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Will the minister please outline to the House how the Morrison-McCormack government’s Australian approach to mining is further cementing our mining industry as a world leader so it can continue driving our economic recovery and helping us chart a way out of the COVID-19 recession?

Mr PITT: I thank the member for Dawson for his question. We know that Australia’s approach, combined with the hardworking men and women of the resources sector, has had phenomenal results. In the member’s electorate what does that mean? It means 131 million tonnes of high-quality Australian coal left the terminals of Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point and Abbot Point in 2020. What does that mean for the people of Central Queensland and the member for Dawson’s electorate? It means jobs, economic support and stronger economies in those local regions. Australia’s approach, combined with the sector, has meant an incredible result. In fact, for the Queensland state government it means $3½ billion in royalties—money that goes towards the essential services Australians rely on: schools, hospitals and roads.

Central Queensland is the powerhouse of the resources sector. There are a couple of other powerhouses. The member for Dawson is one. Never get between the member for Dawson and support for his community. Another one is the METS sector—the mining equipment, technology and services sector. The METS sector is an absolute powerhouse for innovation, particularly around Mackay. It continues to support not only that local area with increased efficiencies and innovation for the resources sector but exports for our country right around the world. It is incredibly supportive.

METS, combined with the mining industry, has 1.1 million jobs—almost 10 per cent of all full-time employment—and 15 per cent of Australia’s GDP. We will continue to support them strongly. In fact, I was with the member for Dawson last September when we opened the METS SME export hub at the Resources Centre of Excellence in Mackay. What a great service it is. It is supported by the Commonwealth. We went to a company called Mainetec. Have they got some buckets—big buckets, small buckets and in-between buckets. It makes such a difference. A small change in bucket design means an increase in bottom lines for mines right across the country and, in fact, right across the world. These are some big buckets. The member for Dawson and I stood in them, and you wouldn’t even know that we were there. We were a speck in the back, which is quite unusual.

Whether it’s coal, iron ore, LNG, gas or other resources, this side of the parliament stands with the resources sector and the jobs it provides. We will continue to support the METS sector and the resources sector. We will continue to support the jobs they provide and what they do for our economy. I know there are those who say ‘no way’ to the resources sector. There are those who are having an each-way bet. They’ll say one thing in Melbourne and a different thing in Mackay. But there are others who everyone knows are just straight-out on the nose. We know who they might be. They could well be over there. (Time expired)

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