The future is not a choice between resources, such as coal, and renewable energy technologies, it is a commitment to both, Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Ian Macfarlane said in Friday.
His comments followed a speech by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Brisbane, in which she committed the state to embracing renewable energy, while also continuing its strong support for the resources sector.
Macfarlane applauded the Premier for reaffirming the role that the resources sector would play.
“Queenslanders don’t want to be lectured by visiting activists from interstate and overseas, whether it is Bob Brown or Al Gore. They want their efforts, their hard work, their investment and their futures supported. The Premier has done that today.”
Macfarlane said that Queensland could be an “energy superpower, including a renewables superpower, while at the same time building on strengths in coal, gas and other minerals”.
He added that the QRC and the resources sector embraced renewable energy, not only as a supplier of electricity for operations, but also as a market for the coal and metals that were mined. Advanced manufacturing, electric vehicles and battery storage were all markets for the mining companies.
“The future is not a choice between resources or renewables. The future is a commitment to resources and renewables.”
Queensland is Australia’s largest coal producing state, with a record 223-million tonnes of coal having been shipped from mines to 30 different countries and territories last year. That trumped a previous record set in 2016 by about two-million tonnes.
In the 12 months to the end of April, resource exports delivered more than A$65-billion of the A$85.2-billion total exports of Queensland goods, with coal remaining the number-one export.
Coal exports increased by almost A$4-billion to A$36.5-billion in the 12 months until the end of April. Coal exports have doubled over the last four years, Macfarlane noted.
“When it comes to resources, whether its thermal or metallurgical coal, metals or gas, Queensland has what the world needs, it wants more of it and is prepared to pay more for it. This is a result that more than 315 000 Queensland men and women working in the resources sector can be very proud of and Queenslanders can be very proud of them."