Brisbane Qld’s biggest ‘mining town’

By Anthony Barich

The numbers are in, revealing Queensland’s minerals and energy sector contributed an estimated $77.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2013-14 – and it turns out Brisbane is its biggest “mining town”.

The Queensland Resources Council’s state-wide analysis of resources sector spending announced this morning revealed that despite commodity market challenges, the sector continues to be responsible directly and indirectly for one in every four dollars in Queensland’s economy and one in every five jobs.

The 2013-14 analysis aggregated by postcode wages and salaries paid, goods and services bought, community contributions and local/state government taxes and royalties. The raw data is able to be assigned to geographical (region) and electoral (local government area) boundaries.
The report stated that minerals and energy companies spent $37.5 billion in Queensland, with the coal industry contributing 51%, oil and gas 36% and metals 13%.

“Every Queenslander – regardless of where they call home – has a vested interest in seeing our minerals and energy industries succeed and grow,” QRC CEO Michael Roche told its annual lunch in Brisbane today. The event was attended by Premier Campbell Newman and other political and industry leaders.

“Following the largest private sector investment phase in the nation’s history, what lies ahead for Queensland – if we are prepared to steer the course – is the promise of decades of prosperity driven by the modernisation of Asia.”
However, while “Asia wants what Queensland has to sell”, he warned that industry could not take this for granted.

“We must compete for every contract, innovate to stay globally competitive, earn the support of our governments, and of the people who elect them,” he said.

Roche believes the biggest takeaway from the analysis was that almost 17,000 Queensland businesses were paid for goods and services and that expenditure generated a total “value-add” in Queensland of $77.6 billion and 442,000 full-time employment positions.

“Since the first analysis in 2010, the most striking and consistent result has been the starring role of the Brisbane region as the biggest mining town in Queensland,” Roche said.

Brisbane recorded the highest direct expenditure of $17 billion and a total economic benefit of $37.8 billion in 2013-14.

That meant the resources sector contributed 26% to Brisbane’s gross regional product and supported almost 200,000 full-time equivalent positions, or around 18% of the total regional workforce, Roche said.

“This may come as a surprise to some in southeast Queensland, but the money trail can’t be denied with direct and indirect spending representing 26% of the Brisbane region’s gross regional product,” he said.

Minerals and energy companies with operations across the state paid $1.3 billion in wages to more than 9600 full-time employees residing in Brisbane. In addition, they bought $15.6 billion in goods and services from more than 6500 Brisbane companies. The Brisbane region’s direct spend of almost $17 billion was well ahead of the next highest in Fitzroy ($6.8 billion) and Mackay ($4.2 billion).

Independent economic analysis by Lawrence Consulting has calculated this direct and indirect spending supported more than 197,000 jobs in the Brisbane region.
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