Record breaking Queenslanders

QUEENSLAND set a coal export record in 2008-09 smashing its previous best two years ago, according to preliminary figures from the Queensland Resources Council.
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Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche.

Blair Price

QRC chief executive Michael Roche revealed in a speech to delegates at the Queensland Coal and Energy Conference this morning that shipments from Abbott Point, Brisbane, Dalrymple Bay, Gladstone and Hay Point terminals were a touch over 159 million tonnes for the 2009 financial year.

The figure is 7Mt above the previous year and 5.8Mt higher than the previous best in 2006-07.

“In dollar terms, we’re still waiting on the full financial year figures, but looking at the first three quarters of 2008-09 year, the value of Queensland’s coal exports was 33 billion dollars. This is more than double the previous year’s total value of 16.4 billion dollars,” Roche said.

The record value of exports was attributed to record contract prices and increased capacity at Gladstone, Dalrymple Bay and Abbott Point.

Roche also highlighted recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which point to the Queensland resources sector bucking employment trends.

According to the ABS, the number of people employed by the coal industry has risen from 13,800 in May 2008 to 17,600 in May 2009.

“That’s an extraordinary outcome in light of announced losses of more than 3000 mostly contractor positions since September last year. That mention of mostly contractor positions probably lays a clearer picture of what’s been happening in Queensland since the onset of the GFC,” Roche said.

“The headlines have all been about job losses in their hundreds, not re-employment by resource sector industries in smaller, more discrete batches.”

Roche went on to speak about the future challenges the Queensland coal industry faced focusing on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. A full copy of Roche’s speech is available from the QRC’s website.