The Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, has brought a welcome reality check to discussion about the Adani coal mine, pointing out the danger of overstating the importance of the mine to the state’s economy.
Queensland has workforce of 2.3 million people. Adani’s own economic expert has said the mine will create around 1400 jobs, or a 0.06% increase in the state’s workforce.
“Mining will play a small part in future jobs growth in Queensland,” says Australia Institute Director of Research, Rod Campbell. “And any one mine will have minimal impact.”
“Far more important are services, health and education. While the world is looking to reduce its coal use, Queensland’s growing population will ensure strong growth for services,” says Campbell.
“There is far too much hype around Adani’s project. It is financially shaky and will have a marginal impact on employment and state government finances.”
“Other industries are actually creating the jobs in Queensland. Treasurer Pitt is right to warn against getting caught up in coal industry spin and to concentrate on data.”
“In the last 12 months we’ve seen mining employment decline by over 10,000 jobs, yet overall employment in Queensland is up by 15,000. Clearly mining doesn’t drive jobs in Queensland, service industries do.” (see chart below)
“One mine alone, no matter how big, does not have a major impact on the state’s economy,” Campbell said.