The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s technology-driven approach to reducing emissions announced in last night’s budget, saying it will drive new investment into this crucial area for resources.
$1.2 billion has been allocated towards establishing international partnerships on low-emissions technology projects and to support hydrogen and carbon capture use and storage initiatives.
A further $1.6 billion over 10 years will encourage investment in technologies (identified in its Technology Investment Roadmap and Low Emissions Technology Statements), grow new export industries, create jobs and reduce emissions
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector is committed to meeting the challenges of climate change and reducing emissions.
“The resources sector is the nation’s economic engine room and, as last night’s budget demonstrates, has kept producing, earning and employing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which has benefited all Australians,” he said.
“While we’re fortunate global demand for commodities such as coal and gas is increasing, we’re also at a critical time in Australia’s history where emissions targets need to be met, so we welcome the government’s pragmatic approach to helping make this transition possible.”
Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector will continue to lead Australia through its economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Nationally, mining investment is forecast to grow at double the rate of non-mining investment,” he said.
“Global demand for Australian commodities is also bouncing back, with exports expected to grow by 5 percent in 2021-22 and 2.5 percent in 2022-23.”
Mr Macfarlane said Queensland’s resources sector has continued to perform well under pressure, with mining jobs across the state rising by more than 15 percent in the 12 months to February 2021.
“Over the five years to February 2021, mining jobs grew by more than 34 percent, which shows just how important the resources sector is to the day-to-day lives of every Queenslander through a strong state economy and job opportunities,” he said.
Other budget initiatives welcomed by the QRC include:
- $100 million investment in exploration to give explorers more time in the field looking for Qld’s next big mineral discovery;
- Increased support for apprentices, mental health, Indigenous girls’ academies, STEM scholarships and programs to encourage more women to work in non-traditional fields like resources;
- $58.6 million investment to increase the supply of gas through field trials in Queensland’s North Bowen and Galilee Basins;
- Inclusion of Mount Isa to Townsville and Gladstone to Cairns regions in Regions of Growth pilot program;
- $20.1 million over two years to deliver a Global Resources Strategy to diversify and strengthen Australia’s access to key export markets and reduce risk of trade disruptions;
- $275.5 million for four clean hydrogen hubs and a clean hydrogen certification scheme;
- $100 million for projects to manage ocean habitats and coastal environments while reducing emissions;
- $29.3 million to maintain timeliness of Commonwealth environmental assessments and support delivery of policy reforms as part of the Government’s initial response to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.