A campaign to advocate for Queensland’s resources industry and the 372,000 people who rely on it for jobs is long overdue, the Queensland Resources Council said today.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said an awareness campaign in targeted state seats to encourage voters to ‘put their job first and the Greens last’ was designed to start a conversation about the importance of the resources industry to the Queensland economy and to jobs.
The resources industry contributes a massive $74 billion annually to the state budget and $63 billion – or 80 per cent – of Queensland’s total exports.
Mr Macfarlane said it was time for the resources industry to better promote its value to the wider community and to speak out publicly against policies that were bad for the industry and bad for Queenslanders.
A key election policy of the Greens is to impose an additional $50 billion in extra taxes on the state’s resources sector over the next four years to fund green initiatives, effectively lifting the tax rate on resources by four to five times its current rate.
Mr Macfarlane said this extreme Greens’ policy would have a devastating impact on the viability of the resources industry and the state’s economy and cost tens of thousands of Queenslanders jobs across the sector.
“Resources has literally been a life raft for the Queensland economy this year, especially during COVID-19, where we’ve managed to maintain almost full production and employment under very difficult circumstances,” he said.
“It’s unfair on our workers, many of whom are based in regional and remote areas, not to speak out about a policy that is designed to destroy their jobs and companies, and the communities in which they operate.
“We want people to know that a vote for the Greens is a vote against the mining and gas industry and a vote against jobs and economic stability in Queensland and that will affect every one of us.”
Mr Macfarlane every Queenslander should be proud of the economic and job contribution of the mining and gas industry in this state.
“In the past there’s been a reluctance by mining and gas companies to talk publicly about what they’re doing or to even feel proud of what they’re doing, because of the constant threat of disruption and harassment by environmental activists,” he said.
“The reality is there are 372,000 hard-working men and women employed in Queensland’s resources sector whose families and communities benefit every day from the financial security and job opportunities our industry can provide.
“Our goal is to continue to provide these jobs and more into the future, but we can’t do that if the Greens manage to get into a position of influence with the next State Government.”
Mr Macfarlane said the Greens have made it clear they are against new mining projects and want to put an end to the existing mining and gas industry. They also want to terminate existing mining leases in the Galilee Basin and increase royalty taxes on resources by four to five times over that will effectively stop future jobs being created.
“By running this awareness campaign, the QRC is saying to the people of Queensland – please be very careful about who you vote for on October 31, because a vote for the Greens is a vote against jobs and a vote against a post-COVID economic recovery,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The next government in Queensland must show strong, intelligent leadership that takes into account the needs of all sectors in the community and not bow to the bullying of extreme environmental activists.
“The impacts of COVID-19 aren’t going away anytime soon, so we’re asking people to put their job first and vote the Greens last in this state election.”