Resources sector giants mingle in Brisbane

THE movers and shakers of the mining and energy sectors took the opportunity to hear from some of the industry's leading players at a forum which described the challenges the two sectors are currently experiencing and the road ahead.

The Queensland Resources Council-hosted State of the Sector forum was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday and was attended by more than 600 delegates from across the state.

A hot topic discussed by the panel comprising of Mick Crowe, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, Trevor Brown, John Taylor, Rob Neale, Joe Potter and Ian Davies was the cost challenges facing the industry.

New Hope Group managing director Rob Neale said he had never experienced a flat line in prices during his four decades in the coal mining industry.

"The challenge for mining is what goes up must come down," he said.

"There has been a squeeze on margins, combine that with a high Australian dollar, and it has left us in a challenging position.

"The challenge for Australia is to keep costs under control."

Mr Crowe said Australia must accept it is now part of the global environment.

"With that come increased pressures," he said. "Supply and demand has to get back into balance.

"I firmly believe there are still some very challenging years ahead for the sector."

Santos Queensland vice-president Trevor Brown told the forum the LNG sector was not experiencing any demand issues.

"There is no end to the demand for LNG," he said. "The demand for LNG will be around for a long, long time to come.

"With that demand comes huge opportunities."

Mr Brown said he would like to take a wait-and-see approach to the Federal Government's promise to repeal the Carbon Tax as well as the Mining Resources Rent Tax.

"The devil will definitely be in the detail" he said. "I think climate change is real and we need to take action now."

The forum was followed by a lunch attended by Premier Campbell Newman.



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