QRC chief executive Michael Roche said his members were looking to the federal government to lock on to the job-creating potential of resource sector infrastructure projects and minerals exploration in preparation for the inevitable revival of global minerals and energy demand.
Roche said modest government spending could help reduce the impact of job losses in regional Queensland while laying the foundations for growth.
“Australia should be using the global economic downturn as an opportunity to move ahead of the game through the focused delivery of infrastructure and a more aggressive minerals exploration agenda, driven by a flow-through shares scheme,” Roche said.
“Relatively modest and well-targeted investments in key areas, such as industry infrastructure, R&D and carbon capture and storage projects, would create jobs and support the sector’s export potential, especially as India and China’s economies are defying the world trend and still growing.”
He said the Goonyella-Abbott Point expansion project and energy and transport upgrades for North and North West Queensland were examples of investments that would be repaid many times over.
“This is also the right time to encourage the discovery of our next generation of mines and oil and gas fields,” Roche said.
“Exploration is instantly labour-intensive and, in the medium term, essential for Queensland’s economic outlook as known resource deposits head towards the end of their economic lives.
“The last thing we want to be doing is playing another round of catch-up as the world rebounds from what is essentially a loss of confidence in developed world financial systems, not developing world aspirations.”