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The amount of mining and energy sector workers in the greater Mackay region of Queensland has increased by five per cent over the 2022–23 financial year.

The Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) latest economic contribution report has revealed that the Mackay resources sector now supports around 85,000 jobs, which represents almost 80 per cent of the region’s total employment.

The greater Mackay region – which also includes Isaac and Whitsunday local government areas – is now home to the most people directly employed by the resources sector in Queensland, beating Brisbane for the top spot.

“The resources sector contributed $18.4 billion to the Mackay region last financial year, representing 91 per cent of gross regional product,” QRC chief executive officer Ian Macfarlane said.

“This demonstrates how important the industry is to the region’s economy, and likewise how important the Mackay region is to Queensland. It’s why we need to continue to attract new investment in new, greenfield resources projects to support continued growth in our sector.

“As mines reach the end of their operating life, we need new resources projects to replace them and keep that pipeline of projects, business opportunities and jobs rolling.”

QRC has repeatedly expressed concerns regarding the state’s controversial three-tiered coal royalties system that started on July 1, 2022, and is currently campaigning against the regime.

“There are mine projects literally across the border in New South Wales which are paying much lower royalty taxes than Queensland,” he said.

“That’s the reality of being an industry driven by private sector investment, the majority of which comes from overseas. Companies have choices about where to invest their capital on behalf of shareholders, who expect a return on that investment.

“Queensland needs to be globally competitive if we are to stay in the mining game.”