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Resources Industry Network

RIN says resources contribution exiting Covid-19 can play key role in economic recovery

The positive outcomes that the resources sector can have in the recovery phase of Covid-19 are significant and have the potential to bring other Covid-affected sectors back to normality sooner, according to peak industry association Resource Industry Network (RIN).

The impact the resources sector has and continues to have on the state and national economy during Covid-19 will not be fully understood for many years, RIN acting general manager Dean Kirkwood said.

“But what is clear is that resources, and by default, the METS sector, had largely carried the Queensland economy, and to some extent, the national economy.

“In that respect, we recognise the industry’s fortunate position throughout the past six months, and at the same time, acknowledge that other industries have not enjoyed the same journey. But I think it will be years until we understand and appreciate the crucial role that the resources sector has played during and exiting the pandemic.

“As the voice for the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region’s METS sector, it’s important to emphasise the role that our local METS businesses have played in keeping the region’s mines operational, while at the same time, feeling the pinch of financial uncertainty themselves.

“Their capacity, combined with their business acumen, to continue to provide equipment, engineering capability, maintenance services, production capability, statutory coverage, and specialised safety and training services has meant that production on the mine sites has been maintained, despite border closures,” Mr Kirkwood added.

Mackay-based METS business East West Lighting is a classic example. Owner Lance Walk said his business had felt the full impact of cancelled or postponed mining shutdown work and were forced to implement new ways to manage its unaffected projects and workforce if they were to remain open.

“We had to cut back staff hours so instead of working a full week, they would work three days, and a staggered roster meant we could have workers available five days a week. Our staff were incredibly understanding and flexible when we proposed this working arrangement, and combined with our eligibility for the JobKeeper subsidy, it allowed us to operate albeit with a level of ambiguity.”

Mr Walk said he agreed that the resources industry would be vital in the economic recovery of Covid-19 for Queensland in particular.

“You only have to look at how it has propped up the state economy since the onset of the pandemic, to see it will play a significant role in the rebuilding process as well,” Mr Walk added.

Many involved in the sector are unanimous about the resilience of the resources industry and its position of strength being key to Australia’s economic recovery once the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.

RIN chair David Hartigan agreed stating the resources industry and METS sector were familiar with very robust safety standards built from decades of knowledge and experience.

“As an industry, we are well conditioned to the type of behavioural discipline that is required to manage Covid-19. This, combined with a dedicated workforce and tremendous business agility, has contributed enormously to our success to date.

“The resources sector continues to inject millions into the Queensland economy at a time when money is desperately needed to fund the health and welfare systems, along with adequate stimulus measures.

“As an organisation representing those in the sector, we’d like to see policies that continue to support the ongoing success of the resources sector, as well as initiatives that encourage investment in innovative practices in METS.

“We need to remember that people from Covid-19 affected countries around the world continue to need food, materials, and energy. Primary production keeps going regardless of the crisis, so we are in a privileged position to maintain jobs, create new ones, contribute a commodity that’s essential for the production of medical equipment and other life-saving equipment, and to support other communities and sectors through mining royalties.

“There’s no question that resources can play a key role when it comes to economic recovery in this country,” Mr Hartigan said.

Resource Industry Network is the peak industry association representing companies actively engaged in the resources sector and those who are allied to the sector.

*ENDS* 

For further information, or to discuss interview opportunities, please contact:
Jodie Thompson - RIN Communications Manager
P: 07 4952 4184    |   M: 0408 638 968
Email:
comms@resourceindustrynetwork.org.au

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Resource Industry Network is the only not-for-profit member group representing the resource sector and allied industries within the Mackay region.

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