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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

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The value of Queensland’s coal exports dropped by $985 million in the year to February 2020, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.  

However it remained a major money-spinner – accounting for $35.1 billion of the $83.3 billion total.

That figure only includes high rank metallurgical coal (hard-coking) and thermal coal and excludes semi-soft coking metallurgical coal and PCI coal, which fall into a ‘confidential’ category with other items including Lng, alumin and cotton.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the latest ABS figures demonstrated the ongoing strength of the sector leading into the COVID-19 outbreak and its essential value to the State’s economy. 

“While it’s very encouraging to see the resources sector contributing 80 percent or $66 billion to Queensland’s exports it’s important we recognise that in the months ahead we’ll see headwinds as slower demand takes hold from a contracting world economy,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

“COVID-19 impacts were yet to evolve in February.  Indeed, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30 and WHO did not declare it a pandemic until March 11.” 

He said resources would continue to play an essential role by employing locally and exporting internationally to deliver royalty payments to the State Government.  

Mr Macfarlane said LNG export data out of Gladstone for March 2020 showed that industry was weathering the economic storm, with 1.825 million tonnes of LNG exported – a 2 per cent increase on February exports.

“While we are seeing these strong numbers in the first quarter of this year the industry is watching how our key trading partners in Asia, Europe and North America manage the economic fallout from COVID-19,” he said. 

Resources remain backbone of export earnings