Mining Industry | QUESTION TIME


Dr HARVEY (Newland) (15:08): My question is to the Minister for Energy and Mining. Can the minister update the house on the growth in the resource sector?

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:08): Yes, I can. Thank you very much to the member for Newland for this important question. Growth in jobs in the resources sector is continuing under the Marshal Liberal government. This is a very important sector, providing not only approximately 35 per cent of our state’s exports but also an enormous chunk of our employment. Importantly, in Adelaide, in regional areas and in outback areas people are getting jobs in the resources sector.

Let me share a few poignant numbers with you: in the September quarter, there were 773 mining and resource jobs advertised in South Australia. There are outstanding opportunities for people, which fit in exactly with the work that the Minister for Innovation and Skills is doing in regard to training people to be able to take up these jobs. These jobs are in a very wide range of white-collar and blue-collar areas—management, professionals, trade, operations, operators—and this shows continued growth in this very important sector.

Minerals commodities recording growth in the year to September 2019 included refined copper and copper products up to $510 million, or 41 per cent, and iron ore and concentrates up $115 million, or up 33 per cent. In addition to this year’s positive results, South Australian minerals and energy resources exports reached a five-year high of $5.76 billion in the financial year 2018-19. That is overseas money coming into our state through the resources sector, and that’s an increase of nearly $1 billion on the previous financial year. This increase was led by a $623 million increase in copper exports and a $177 million increase in petroleum exports.

Our resources industry is thriving in South Australia. It is very important that all resources projects, whether they be exploration or production in the minerals or the petroleum sector, operate safely with regard to people and the environment. It is very important that they operate in cooperation with their host communities and other local industries in the areas where they operate, and our resources sector is doing incredibly well.

Another piece of useful information the house might be interested to receive is that just a couple of days ago I met with Mr Matt Moore, an Aboriginal man who is an employee from the Department for Energy and Mining. We actually bumped into each other. He was able to tell me that, through his work and the work of Mr Barry Goldstein in DEM, they have recently managed to provide 10 new employment opportunities, actual jobs, to Aboriginal people in South Australia.

As part of the Premier’s Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan, the Department for Energy and Mining intends to contribute to people all over our state, regardless of what their background is, regardless of what part of the state they happen to live in, and this is very good news in that regard. For members who are interested in employment in South Australia, I point you to the South Australian Resources Sector Hiring Intentions report for the 2018-19 year, which has an enormous amount of valuable information in this area.

The resources industry is a responsible industry. The resources industry is an industry that is contributing in ways that we never would have thought of previously with regard to a newer, greener economy. We are very fortunate in South Australia particularly to have such great copper resources to export to the world to contribute to a cleaner, greener world over time. Of course, increases in jobs in all sectors are welcome, and the resources sector is pulling its weight in South Australia.