Some Queensland resources sector CEOs have expressed concerns the election of US President Donald Trump will make markets unpredictable.
Some Queensland resources sector CEOs have expressed concerns the election of US President Donald Trump will make markets unpredictable. Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx

'Trump a wild card' for future of QLD resources sector

CHIEF executives in Queensland's resources sector are concerned the election of US President Donald Trump will create volatility in markets over the next year.

The Queensland Resources Council's (QRC) latest State of the Sector quarterly sentiment survey of the state's top resource company CEOs shows 50% were concerned the newly elected president will be bad for business.

One chief said "Trump is a wild card" and the "uncertainty will create volatility in the markets over the next year".

However, another said the "future of coal (is) more positive" following Trump's election and the "construction boom in the USA will drive resource demand".

Generally though, the survey shows there's concerns in the Queensland resources sector about red tape, regulation and the global economic environment.

Each quarter, the QRC conducts its State of the Sector CEO sentiment survey, revealing what Queensland resources chiefs think will affect their businesses over the coming year.

One of the main concerns raised in the survey was the Queensland Government's decision to implement a 50% renewable energy target, said QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

"We know that energy security and supply is a big concern to all households and businesses across the country, and our industry leaders have reflected that in our latest survey," Mr Macfarlane said.

One chief executive said the target was: "madness given the experience in South Australia and the fact that the Queensland Government would institute this policy given the quality of coal resources we have in this state and the recent lessons in SA demonstrates just how far out of touch this government is".

 

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane. Bev Lacey

Additionally, Mr Macfarlane said the survey reflects increases in electricity were making it hard to do business.

"Our survey found that our members say the wholesale electricity price is out of control and believe both state and federal governments are not acting to fix energy policy and the uncertainty it creates," Mr Macfarlane said.

Policy uncertainty and poor regulation hadn't topped the concerns facing the chief executives of the resources sector in the five years leading up to 2016, QRC states.

The survey also revealed nearly 90% of those surveyed believe red tape has impacted on their business.

"We constantly call on governments at all levels to loosen the red tape that is strangling one of Queensland's economic pillars, from local government rate hikes, to changing state legislative goal posts, to the latest, the Federal Court ruling over the Native Title Act and Indigenous Land Use Agreements," Mr Macfarlane said.

While the resources sector is recovering in Queensland, the survey also showed a skills shortage is expected.

Mr Macfarlane said the sector needed to adopt a "concerted approach" to developing skills in workers.

"The sentiment survey shows that more than 40% of CEOs expect a shortage of skills to impact on their operations in the next 12 months," he said.

But 44% of chief executives still expected to grow their workforce over the next year.

The survey shows only 15% of QRC's chief executives expect no problem in accessing talent and experience over the next year.



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