House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Questions without Notice

Resources Industry

2:41 pm

Photo of Phillip ThompsonPhillip Thompson (Herbert, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Will the minister please outline to the House how the resources sector is leading Australia's economic recovery as we come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic?

2:42 pm

Photo of Keith PittKeith Pitt (Hinkler, National Party, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. We know the member for Herbert is a great supporter of the resources sector. In fact, he rolls his sleeves up and gets out there every single day in his electorate to support coal, and he knows why—because of the economic contribution the sector makes to this country.

In the face of the most significant public health and economic shock we've had in over 100 years, it is the resources sector that is delivering. It is delivering for our economy. In fact, the resources sector in the past year has continued to punch above its weight. It's contributed around nine per cent to Australia's GDP and 25 per cent of all growth in our economy. I'll say that again: 25 per cent of all growth in our economy is coming from the resources sector. That equates to some $294 billion worth of exports. In fact, we continue to expect the iron ore sector to go through $100 billion worth of exports in just one year—the first Australian commodity to ever do that.

In the March quarter, mining output was $1.6 billion higher than at the same time last year. Mining investment reached $13 billion—around one quarter of all private business investment. That is a very strong performance. The Morrison-McCormack government has an economic plan to turbocharge jobs in Australia and to turbocharge jobs in regional Australia, and the resources sector will be an enormous part of that work.

Over a million Australians work directly or indirectly in the resources sector. We want to see more Australians work in that sector. I want to see more youth, in particular, get an opportunity as apprentices, as trainees or as engineers to find their way in the resources sector—to get a good job and pay their own way. We know that resource projects like Valeria's, Olive Downs's, New Hope's and Adani's will contribute around 3,000 jobs to Queensland alone.

In this country, we know we have to grow it, mine it and make it—that's got to be our plan moving forward. This is how we'll drive jobs. We know a couple of those opposite are concerned about the economy. We've got a couple that are supportive of the resources sector and the some $300 billion it might contribute—

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I'll just say to the minister that he can't canvass members of the opposition, because the question didn't ask for alternative policies.

Photo of Keith PittKeith Pitt (Hinkler, National Party, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia) Share this | | Hansard source

Of course, Mr Speaker. But we do know there are a number of people who do support the sector. We know a number of people will get together and support the resources sector. We know there are some of them who are very keen on the jobs the sector provides—up to a million directly and indirectly across this country. We know that there are some who have been named. They've had to go underground for their support! They've had to go underground, according to reports on the weekend.

But, once again, it is this side of the House that will continue to support jobs in this country. We will continue to be the job-making government, quite simply because we have done it before. And we will do it again. The people of Australia can trust us in what we say.