THE peak organisation for resources will support the Liberal Party's plan to lease the Port of Gladstone, as long as any contracts provide appropriate protection for the area.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche also suggested that Arrow Energy was sitting on a large resource in the Bowen Basin that could see Gladstone's LNG sites expand in the future.
But he also said the coal industry would continue to cut back on jobs to get "back in the black".
Mr Roche told the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Major Industry Conference on Wednesday the council supported the government's Strong Choices campaign that included the long-term lease of Gladstone's port.
"We agree that leasing our (Queensland's) assets long-term is an effective way to take off some of the debt," he said.
"It would provide some new money to reinvest in badly needed structure in the state.
"But contracts between the users and the operators provide appropriate protections - user protections in the lease conditions.
"It's a strength in leasing rather than selling."
Speaking on another topic, Mr Roche said the potential for six more trains (production units) on Curtis Island meant that Gladstone could see more LNG in the future.
He said Arrow Energy was sitting on a large gas resource in the Bowen Basin and had already started front line engineering.
"Arrow is showing one way or another they're going to energise their reserves," he said.
Arrow is still contributing major dollars to social infrastructure and community projects, while its plans have slowly been passing through government approvals over the past few months.
It welcomed news from the Federal Government on October 8 that its proposed central Queensland pipeline, expected to be 550km long, was approved.
The pipeline will take coal seam gas from Moranbah in the Bowen Basin to Gladstone.
On a question from the audience about the future of job cuts in the coal sector, Mr Roche said it was obvious the coal companies couldn't keep producing record tonnage without appropriate support.
"The coal industry is asking from their suppliers to 'sharpen the pencil'," he said.
"Some business decisions are not sustainable but about getting back in the black.
"Some of the cost cutting is permanent and a new way of doing business, but some of it is probably not sustainable."
He said smaller projects in coal companies were trying to get off the ground in the Galilee Basin, but the big coal majors in the Bowen Basin were very much in the production phase.
"We shouldn't expect an increase from them in following years."
- Queensland's resources sector produces $1 in every $4 of the Queensland economy
- One in five jobs is in resources
- 0.09% of the state's land mass is taken up by resources
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