Alistair Brightman

Mining creates less jobs for dollars: Australia Institute

THE Australia Institute is pressuring the Queensland Government to invest less in the mining industry for the state's sake.

The organisation accused the government of neglecting education and health in favour of the resources sector in a report called Outclassed, that was released this week.

TAI, an independent think tank financed by philanthropists, said the government could not argue funding for the resources sector was for job creation because mining produced fewer jobs per million dollars than almost any other industry.

The report stated the Queensland Government spent more money, at $9.5 billion, on the mineral and fossil fuel industries from 2008-2014 than any other state.

"In the major areas of health and education, Queensland spends less per person than any other state except NSW and Victoria," the report stated.

"Education and social services offer some of the highest rates of employment."

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The report stated Queensland ranked second last in its public order, safety, housing and community amenities spending for each person, and lowest on social security and welfare.

TAI said coal royalties made up only 4% of the Queensland Government's revenue and at the last census only 24,000 people worked in coal mining.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the Queensland Resources Council denounced the report's figures. QRC deputy chief Greg Lane referred to a 2014 mining sector-commissioned report condemning the think tank's "flawed" analysis of public sector finances.

"Using the Australia Institute's own methodology, the cost to the taxpayer of registered environmental organisations over the last decade would run into hundreds of millions of dollars," he said.

"In Queensland, the resources sector made purchases of almost $30 billion from 17,000 Queensland businesses and those businesses employ thousands more Queenslanders.

"We note that the sector's direct revenue contribution to governments in Australia from company tax and royalties alone exceeded $40 billion over the two years to June 2014."

A Minerals Council of Australia spokesman said debate about the mining industry's role and contribution to the Australian economy and public finances should be based on facts, "not pseudo-economics and ideology".          

He said TAI had a history of producing inaccurate reports.

"The Minerals Council of Australia has previously demonstrated the inaccuracy of the Australia Institute last year that drew an admission that their report was wrong," the spokesman said.

"It is not clear whether the errors and distortions made again in this recycled report were made deliberately or not.

"Australians deserve better. The mining sector is Australia's largest export earner and a major contributor to national income."



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