Michael Roche
Michael Roche Contributed

State's resources diversity a buffer against coal downturn

QUEENSLAND'S resources diversity had provided a buffer against the full impact of the coal downturn says the Queensland Resources Council.

The resources council Chief Executive Michael Roche is in Rockhampton today for briefings with government, conservation and business leaders.

Mr Roche said the current trading environment for the coal industry was a 'test of mettle' for Bowen Basin producers.

'The latest export data suggests that they are responding skilfully to global market realities by reducing costs and increasing volumes to reinforce Queensland's position as a supplier of choice to Asia,' he said.

Industry analysts report Queensland coal exports jumped again last month, with metallurgical export terminals accounting for a large slice of a 34 percent increase in exports compared with August 2012.

'The Queensland coal industry is positioning itself for the inevitable revival of coal demand, driven by China and India. The economic aspirations and development of these countries has been delayed - not abandoned.

'However, we must never lose sight of the fact that no-one is obliged to beat a path to Queensland's door for minerals and energy commodities.'

Mr Roche said Queensland's resources diversity had provided a buffer against the full impact of the coal downturn.

'According to reports from Gladstone, there are about 10,000 people currently working on delivering an export liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry to Queensland by 2014-15.

'Following that construction phase, we are hopeful that with the support of governments other major projects can come on line, especially those associated with the development of the Galilee Basin coal province in the central west.'

Mr Roche said the other focus of his Rockhampton visit was Fitzroy River water quality and its impact on the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

'I am looking forward to catching up with senior officers from the Fitzroy Basin Association and the Capricorn Conservation Council, noting a renewed political focus on protecting the reef's environmental values,' he said.

Michael McCabe from the Capricorn Conservation Council is campaigning against changes to logging regulation which could open up state forests to logging. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Michael McCabe from the Capricorn Conservation Council Chris Ison


'While managed water discharges from coal mines to the Fitzroy River system last wet season made up less than 0.3 percent of the total flow, I am determined to see the positive relationships from the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health process develop and prosper.

'We all have an interest in preserving the Great Barrier Reef and working together we have a far better chance of ensuring its successful co-existence with our three great export industries - resources, agriculture and tourism,' Mr Roche said.