Work on the Carmichael Coal Mine, Queensland - Photo: Cameron Laird
Work on the Carmichael Coal Mine, Queensland - Photo: Cameron Laird

CQ in for resources and energy jobs boom, report reveals

A JOBS boom in resources and energy is predicted to hit Central Queensland with more than 6,000 positions forecast to be created as part of a $83.8 billion national COVID recovery by 2026.

The Australian Resources and Energy Group today released its Resources and Energy Workforce Forecast, predicting 98 projects worth $83.8 billion to contribute 24,000 jobs over the next five years.

Prominent Central Queensland projects to feature in the predictions include Ironbark No.1, Baralaba South, Olive Downs, Winchester South and Carmichael, forecast to create 6,240 jobs.

Modelling by the AMMA breaks down the employment figures into various resources and energy occupations across the industries.

Mining occupations forecast include 9,233 plant operators, 3,014 heavy diesel fitters and 4,484 engineers, geologists and other technical roles.

Forecast oil and gas occupations include 952 trade technicians, 532 production technicians / operators and 487 management and supervisory roles.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said the forecast detailed the operational labour demand required for new mining and oil and gas projects scheduled for completion between 2021 and 2026.

"This data shows the huge opportunity for Australia's resources and energy industry to lead the country's economy and labour market out of the COVID-19 recession," Mr Knott said.

Mr Knott said Queensland would require 6,240 new resources and energy employees, driven by 20 projects including a large number in coal.

In total, 10 coal projects advanced in the development pipeline (eight of which are new projects), will account for 74 per cent of the state's total forecast new workforce demand to 2026 (4,640 direct employees).

Seven of these projects (2,950 employees) are expected to be operational by end of 2023, another one by the end of 2024 (290 employees) and one large new project - Whitehaven

Coal's Winchester South - scheduled to reach production beyond that (950 employees in 2026).

The forecast, the AMMA report said, would lift Queensland's direct resources workforce by

9.8 per cent to about 70,000, just shy of the May 2019 record of 71,000 employees.

"The Department of Industry's recent major projects report noted investment in the resources and energy industry has entered a new growth cycle," Mr Knott said.

"AMMA's new workforce report shows what this growth cycle could mean for employment in Australia's resources and energy industry, and what occupations will be in highest demand.

"This forecast for over 24,400 new operational-phase employees is highly conservative."

Mr Knott said the forecast was very conservative as it detailed only projects that currently had financial backing

"It only factors in projects either already committed or very close to receiving final investment decision," Mr Knott said.

"When considering the construction workforces required to build these projects and the flow-on effects throughout the supply chain, it's reasonable to expect the true impacts of this investment pipeline to be well over 50,000 jobs."