Queensland’s resources industry received the news that it now ranks number 16 out of 77 jurisdictions in the world in terms of investment attractiveness.
Queensland has dropped an alarming six points over the past five years according to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2020, well behind Western Australia’s ranking of four and South Australia at seven.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane expressed disappointment at the ranking but said the State Government’s commitment to implement a post-COVID Resources Industry Development Plan could help return the state to global favor. He said:
“Mining delivers governments an incredible return on investment through taxes, royalties and employment opportunities but global companies feel more comfortable investing their money into regions where governments are openly and actively supportive of their business.”
“I’m pleased to say there’s been a marked turnaround in the Queensland Government’s attitude towards mining over the past 12 months, demonstrated by a commitment to a new industry development plan, so the resources sector is feeling much more optimistic for the future.”
“We’re hopeful the implementation of a forward-thinking, dynamic industry plan will lead to a return to the days when mining was celebrated in Queensland and people were proud of the innovations and accomplishments of our sector.”
Mr Macfarlane said Queensland had abundant mineral and gas reserves and a skilled local workforce but needed the right policy settings to attract the eye of international investors.
As further evidence Queensland has some work to do, this year the state ranked number 29 on the survey’s Policy Perception Index, which measures the local policy and regulatory environment to exploration investors.
This is the worst score in Australia and well behind Western Australia at 11, South Australia at 16 and Tasmania at 25.
Mr Macfarlane said this outcome wasn’t surprising, with the QEC’s 2020 Exploration Scorecardidentifying policy uncertainty as a barrier to exploration investment in Queensland. He said:
“Improving the perception of Queensland’s policy environment is vital to the future growth of our exploration sector, and the QRC looks forward to working collaboratively with the State Government on the Resources Industry Development Plan to achieve this.”
The survey’s Best Practices Mineral Potential Index ranked Queensland at 15, which is again behind Western Australia (6), South Australia (8) and the Northern Territory (14).