Latest national accounts figures released earlier this month have again revealed how important the resources sector is to the Australian economy through the global coronavirus pandemic.
Despite a record 7.0 per cent fall in Australian GDP in the June quarter, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the industry is proving more than resilient.
“The mining industry bucked the national trend to see a 0.2 per cent increase in output during the June quarter, which is also a 1.1 per cent rise on the same period last year,” Mr Pitt said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the only other sectors not to experience a fall in gross value added were financial and insurance services, public administration and safety, and education and training. All other measured sectors fell, with hospitality and tourism posting record falls (ABS, 2020).
Metal ores and minerals exports increased in the quarter due to iron ore demand from China following economic stimulus thanks to large infrastructure projects (ABS, 2020).
Mr Pitt also noted an increase in investment in the Australian resources sector.
“Encouragingly, mining investment also rose by 1.3 per cent on the previous quarter, and up by almost 8 per cent on the previous year, which is a good indication of the confidence in the Australian resources sector, despite the impact of COVID-19.
“It continues to directly employ over 200,000 Australians and supports the jobs of well over a million others.
“While it is devastating to see the nationwide job losses caused by the impact of the coronavirus, we will get to the other side of this crisis and resources is well-placed to help lead our economic recovery.
“It will be all about job creation as emerge from the pandemic and mining will be in a good position to do just that, particularly for regional Australia,” Mr Pitt said.
“The extra measures the resources industry have taken to keep workers and communities safe and healthy is paying dividends for Australia now, and will pay even greater dividends when we reach the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020. ‘A series of unprecedented events – the June quarter 2020’ [online]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/1016.0.00.001Main%20Features12020?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1016.0.00.001&issue=2020&num=&view=