Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA said employers were buoyed by the Office of the Chief Economist’s Resources and Energy Quarterly report forecasting record export earnings of $278 billion in 2018-19.

The report noted that record export earnings are also being driven by growing export volumes.

Australia remains the world’s largest iron ore exporter, and is expected to retake its position as the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2019, overtaking Qatar.

The report also contained a longer-term outlook for Australia’s resources and energy sector, highlighting how Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are expected to total more than $1.5 trillion between 2018–19 and 2023–24.

AMMA Head of Policy and Public Affairs Tom Reid said the significant increase of more than 20 per cent on 2017–18 figures was a particularly pleasing sign of industry confidence.

“The forecast highlights the sustained contribution of the resources and energy industry for Australia’s economy and living standards, but also the need to better support future investment through more competitive policy and regulation,” he said.

“These figures further demonstrate the benefit of strong project investment and that Australia’s resource industry continues to do the heavy lifting for our economy.”

AMMA said further export increases and investment would hinge on recognising the critical need to unlock growth through less regulation and more workplace flexibility.

“Despite today’s positive forecast, Australia requires a series of policy and regulatory changes if we are to capture our share of the next wave of global resources investment.”

“The resources and energy industry’s contribution to Australia past and future prosperity can’t be understated and should never be taken for granted – it requires a vision and framework that supports investment and the future prosperity of Australia’s resources and energy industry.”