Posted on 08 Dec 2011
Queensland could have another $140 billion in mining projects over the next decade, generating 40,000 more jobs.
But the resources industry has conceded that the mining boom is putting a strain on some sections of the community after The Courier-Mail highlighted the issues facing cities such as Gladstone, where rents are skyrocketing.
The industry’s appetite for workers has tripled in the past 10 years, with the number of direct jobs rising from 20,000 to 60,000.
A Queensland Resources Council report found that if all identified projects went ahead, nearly 100,000 workers would be needed in total, including builders.
It said this worker requirement would have the impact of spreading the economic benefits of the sector’s growth across many communities.
But critics have also pointed out the impact long rosters away from home can have on families as well as the pressure it can place on regional towns unable to deal withthe influx.
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the government services and infrastructure were lagging the growth in regional Queensland.
“It’s also no secret that the state’s resource communities are feeling the strain of the last growth surge and there is limited, if any, appetite for another round, given the lag-time in infrastructure and social service funding from governments,” Mr Roche said.
But he said the projects tipped for the Bowen Basin region in central Queensland were currently factoring in an almost 25 per cent increase in their residential workforce, from the current 17,700 to an estimated 21,900 by 2020.
“Over the same period, the number of non-resident resource industry workers in the Bowen Basin could rise from 7300 to 20,000 under a full-growth scenario,” Mr Roche said.
“By 2020, just over half the Bowen Basin resources workforce is forecast to be locally based.
“However, that should not detract from the fact that few regions anywhere in the country are likely to face population growth pressures of the magnitude projected for towns in that region.”
Mr Roche has said the housing industry had failed to grasp the opportunities in central Queensland, particularly in places such as Moranbah, where rents have topped $3200 a week because of a shortage of rental stock.
To view the full Queensland Resources Council report, the Growth Outlook Study, click here.
Source: The Courier Mail