Glum outlook for Ipswich resources industry according to QRC

NEXT year is going to be another tough one for the resource industry in the Ipswich region.

That was a message that came from a forum of coal and gas company chiefs who spoke at a Queensland Resources Council forum in Brisbane on Friday.

New Hope Group chief Shane Stephan told an audience of about 800 people that the downturn would not be leaving anytime soon.

His company has several projects in the Ipswich region.

"We believe that 2015 is likely to be another tough year," he said.

"We're currently three years into a cyclical downturn price.

"Many of the coal companies in Australia are not making cash.

"Very few thermal coal mines in Australia are producing an accounting profit.

"We believe the current downturn has some way to go."

But Mr Stephan said the medium and long term was looking more positive.

He said there was an increased demand for thermal coal as countries, particularly countries not within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, were looking to increase electricity.

Mr Stephan said an increase in demand would be a good opportunity for Australian coal exporters.

He said Australia's coal was low in sulpha, high in energy, comparably low in contaminants and was a cheap fuel source.

"In the medium to long term, of course demand will catch up to the supply," he said.