Coal’s massive contribution to Eastern Australia continues

7 April 2016

This joint media release was written by the Queensland Resources Council and the NSW Minerals Council.

Coal continues to underpin the economic strength of Eastern Australia, directly injecting over $26 billion into Queensland and NSW last financial year.

Primary data collected across NSW and Queensland has revealed the extent to which coal mining directly contributes to both states - a combined $26.1 billion in direct spending; a total of 37,732 direct jobs; and more than 17,180 local businesses supported across both states.

Despite difficult business conditions, coal royalties continue to beef up the states’ coffers, providing $1.6 billion to Queensland and $1.1 billion to NSW governments, which helps pay for state services such as hospitals, schools and roads.

Coal mining companies directly injected $10.3 billion into the NSW economy by way of wages, salaries, business purchases and community contributions. In Queensland, coal mining companies directly spent $15.8 billion on the same.

In Queensland the $15.8 billion of spending in 2014-15 comprised of $2.6 billion in wages and salaries to 20,247 full-time employees. $13.2 billion was spent on purchases of goods and services from 11,095 local businesses, along with community contributions and payments to local government.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Acting Chief Executive Greg Lane said that with a third of Queensland coal companies operating at a loss, government action was needed to keep the cash-flow going.

‘Coal is a vital pillar of the Queensland economy and if the government wants to see this strong export performance and flow of royalties continue, it must now work with industry on a plan for a more competitive and productive Queensland resources sector,’ Mr Lane said.

‘Whether it’s a full-time job to put food on the table, support to keep local business afloat, or royalties to employ teachers, nurses and police – every single Queenslander has a stake in the coal industry.’

In NSW, the $10.3 billion of spending in 2014-15 included $2.3 billion in wages and salaries, only slightly down on the previous year’s figures, to 17,165 full-time employees. $8 billion was spent on purchases of goods and services with 6,085 local businesses, along with community contributions and payments to local government.

“Coal mining is going through tough times, however the sector is resilient and still making a massive contribution to our economy,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee, said today.

“Coal provides around 85% of NSW electricity and remains NSW’s most valuable commodity export. With hundreds of new technology low emission coal-fired power generation units being deployed by trading partners across the region, the International Energy Agency has forecast demand for coal to increase across South East Asia and India. We’re already starting to see evidence of this, with exports of NSW coal to India increasing by 110% in the last financial year alone,” Mr Galilee said.

“With the right policy settings from government we can manage the industry’s short term challenges and continue to deliver jobs, investment, and economic opportunities, over the long term.”

Media Contacts:

Nat Openshaw | NSW Minerals Council | nopenshaw@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

Angela Harper or Frankie Browne QRC 07 3295 9560