According to the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS), the Australian economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in chain volume terms in 2019-20, ending 28 consecutive years of economic growth.
Economic activity in 2019-20 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires, leading to GDP per capita falling by 1.7 per cent, the first decline since 2008-09.
Despite the overall economy contracting, mining industry GDP increased 4.9 per cent in 2019-20 – driven by increased capacity at oil and gas extraction facilities and iron ore due to international supply disruptions and increased demand from China – and totalled $202 billion. This also made mining Australia’s largest industry with a 10.4 per cent share of the economy.
Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), Tania Constable, said the Australian minerals industry is a major contributor to investment, high-wage jobs, exports and government revenues in Australia.
“There are 240,000 people directly employed by the resources sector and a total of 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs in the mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sectors,” Ms Constable said.
“Growth in mining industry GDP has allowed it to hire new workers while adhering to strict health and safety protocols that have protected people in their workplaces and communities around Australia.”
Ms Constable noted that mining companies support thousands of regional businesses around Australia and their workers who provide essential services that keep the industry operating.
“While putting jobs on the ground and paying their fair share of taxes and mineral royalties, the mining industry also supports the local communities it partners with through donations to local hospitals, charities, child care centres and schools,” she said.
“To ensure mining continues to drive Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery governments should support the industry with faster project approvals, competitive tax rates, co-investment in modern skills programs and more flexible workplaces.”