More business failures forecast

Almost 10,000 Queensland businesses are facing a high risk of financial failure within the next 12 months as the resource sector struggles, according to a report by specialist accounting firm SV Partners.

And it says Queensland Nickel’s recent voluntary administration is just the tip of the iceberg for the  resource industry itself,  with analysis showing 32 more mining companies operating in Queensland at immediate risk of financial failure in the next 12 months.

This figure includes entities involved in exploration, quarrying, and mining services as well as those with producing coal, metalliferous, oil and gas operations.

The SV Partners March 2016 Commercial Risk Outlook Report analyses more than 20 million financial records from various sources relating to Australia’s 2.34 million operating businesses.

It identifies the sectors and geographical location of businesses most at risk of default during the next 12 months.

According to the report, 2.4 per cent of Queensland’s businesses are in the high financial risk category, making Queensland the second most at-risk state nationally after the Northern Territory.

Findings revealed the state’s high exposure to the resource sector was a key contributor to its significantly higher at-risk percentage than the 2.1 per cent national average.

The report indicated there were 84 businesses in the Queensland resource sector (including mining, electricity, gas, water and waste services) experiencing high risk of financial default and cited Queensland Nickel’s recent collapse as representative of the industry’s health.

SV Partners executive director David Stimpson said Queensland Nickel’s recent voluntary administration was only the beginning for the industry and further difficult times were ahead for Queensland businesses across multiple sectors.

“Resource sector businesses are not the only ones suffering – Queensland’s house construction, real estate services and management advice are all considered high-risk sub sectors,” he said.

“In fact, we’re starting to see evidence of some high-profile residential unit developers in the South East corner experiencing difficulties, and with the current over-supply of unit developments, I expect this trend will continue.”

Mr Stimpson said to survive in current economic conditions businesses needed to take steps to prevent and combat financial distress.

“To reduce financial risk, we urge businesses to maintain their accounting systems, report regularly, produce budgets to support financial projections and become more vigilant with accounts receivable collections,” he said.

“It’s crucial businesses seek professional advice to make sure their finances are in order.”

Data showed the Gold Coast topped the list of Queensland’s at-risk regions, with more than 2000 businesses facing immediate financial default in the next 12 months. Inner city Brisbane came in as the second most at-risk region with more than 1000 business in the high-risk category.

On a more positive note, Queensland’s health care and social assistance, and financial and insurance services industries proved to be more secure. Data indicated these industries had the lowest percentage of businesses facing immediate financial default, with only 1.15 per cent and 1.58 per cent of businesses in the high-risk category respectively.

Nationally, the report’s findings predicted nearly 50,000 Australian businesses would face adverse financial events within the next 12 months. Adverse financial events include external administrations, petitions to wind up, defaults, bankruptcies and court writs.


Infrastructure plan - a regional round-up

A $30 million Riverway Drive duplication project at Townsville and a $40 million package to replace timber bridges on the Dawson Highway between Gladstone and Biloela are among the regional initiatives listed in today’s State Infrastructure Plan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a new State Infrastructure Fund, kicked off with an initial investment of $500 million, included $125 million to fast-track the delivery of two projects for the Townsville region:

  • - North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project - $95 million.
  • - Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville (Gollogly Lane – Allambie Lane) - $30m.

“These two projects are critical to improving the efficiency of road and rail freight in the region, and will support around 350 jobs during construction,” Deputy Premier and Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Jackie Trad said.

The $95 million rail project will upgrade the capacity of the North Coast line to increase the productivity and efficiency of freight transport on the corridor and accommodate growth in demand.

The $30 million road project will involve the duplication of a 3km section of Riverway Drive, between Gollogly and Allambie lanes, including the installation of central medians, signalised intersections, and pedestrian crossings.

Other projects for the Townsville region over the next four years include:

  • - Townsville primary school and planning for new secondary school
  • - Bruce Highway Townsville Ring Rd Section 4
  • - Port of Townsville - Berth 4 Upgrade
  • - Bruce Highway Yellow Gin Crk Bridge upgrade
  • - Support development of the North Queensland Stadium.

Additionally, the government said the plan clearly outlined its commitment to fast-track $210 million in shovel-ready projects to support more than 486 jobs in the Townsville region as part of its Accelerated Works Program, which is already under way

The State Infrastructure Fund initial investment of $500 million also includes a $50 million commitment to fast-track the delivery of two projects in the Fitzroy region:

  • - Rockhampton Road Train Access, Stage 1 - $10 million
  • - Dawson Highway (Gladstone – Biloela) timber bridge replacement package - $40 million.

Stage 1 of Rockhampton’s Road Train project will include upgrades to two key intersections in north Rockhampton – Moores Creek Rd and Musgrave St, and Queen Elizabeth Drive and Bridge St.

“This upgrade will significantly increase the capacity of the two intersections and is the first step towards allowing Type 1 road trains to carry cattle to Rockhampton abattoirs on Lakes Creek Rd, which is expected to deliver economic benefits of nearly $1 million every year,” Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said.

The $40 million Dawson Highway project will see timber bridges at Catfish Crk, Nine Mile Crk, Sheep Station Crk, Maxwelton Crk and Doubtful Crk replaced with more durable and reliable concrete structures.

Other projects for the Fitzroy region over the next four years include:

  • - Yeppoon Western Bypass Stage 2
  • - Stanwell and Ross Secondary Systems replacement
  • - Lower Fitzroy Infrastructure (water)
  • - Rockhampton Intensive Care Unit.

Additionally, the government says the plan clearly outlines its commitment to fast-track $27 million in shovel-ready projects to support 27 jobs for the Fitzroy region as part of its Accelerated Works Program.

Infrastructure projects over the next four years for the Cairns region include:

  • - Bruce Highway Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 2)
  • - Cairns Hospital redevelopment
  • - Cairns Special School
  • - Cairns/Mt Peter sewer upgrade
  • - Port of Cairns – Tingira Street Subdivision Development.

Additionally, the government says the plan clearly outlines its commitment to fast-tracking $68 million in shovel-ready projects to support 159 jobs for the Cairns region which is already underway as part of its Accelerated Works Program.

Infrastructure projects listed for the next four years for the Mackay region include:

  • - Bruce Highway Mackay Ring Rd Stage 1 (including planning)
  • - Peak Downs Highway Eton Range Realignment Project
  • - Mackay Substation rebuild and Nebo Primary Plant replacement.

Additionally, the government says the plan clearly outlines its commitment to fast-track $75 million in shovel-ready projects to support 177 jobs for Mackay as part of its Accelerated Works Program.

Infrastructure projects over the next four years for the Darling Downs region include:

  • - Toowoomba Second Range Crossing
  • - Warrego Highway Upgrade Program.

Infrastructure projects over the next four years for the Wide Bay region include:

  • - Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra (Sections A and C) upgrade
  • - Bruce Highway Tinana interchange.

Additionally, the government says the plan clearly outlines its commitment to fast-tracking $36 million in shovel-ready projects to support 13 jobs for the Wide Bay region:

For more information or to view the State Infrastructure Plan visit



State unveils infrastructure blueprint

The Palaszczuk Government today released Queensland’s first State Infrastructure Plan in more than three years.

Hand-in-hand with that blueprint came a new State Infrastructure Fund with an initial investment of $500 million, which Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said would deliver major projects across the state that would grow jobs, productivity and the economy, including in regional areas.

The government said the long-term State Infrastructure Plan also outlined significant reforms to the way Queensland planned, prioritised and invested in infrastructure.

It follows the establishment of Building Queensland as an independent infrastructure advisor to government and Market Led Proposals to encourage new private sector investment.

However Shadow Infrastructure Minister Tim Nicholls described the new plan as “last night’s dinner reheated”.

After thirteen months, Labor had only produced a document full of recycled projects and a wish list for the Federal Government, he said.

“The Premier has wasted a year without an infrastructure plan and only on Friday calls the Prime Minister to demand he stumps up cash to fix Labor’s infrastructure freeze,” Mr Nicholls said.

Ms Palaszczuk said $300 million of the State Infrastructure Fund would be invested in seven critical road and rail upgrades, to help boost capacity and reliability:

  • Ipswich Motorway Upgrade, Stage 1 Darra to Rocklea
  • Pacific Motorway-Gateway Motorway Merge Upgrade (southbound lanes)
  • North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project
  • Dawson Highway (Gladstone – Biloela) timber bridge replacement package
  • Rockhampton Road Train Access, Stage 1
  • Kawana and Nicklin Way – Sunshine Coast University Hospital intersection upgrades package
  • Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville (Gollogly Lane – Allambie Lane).

“Our initial injection of funds will also target projects that have a clear community need and will help address important regional and economic priorities, including jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.

“We are now calling on the Turnbull Government to match our commitment to infrastructure in Queensland on projects like the Ipswich Motorway, the Pacific Motorway and the North Queensland Stadium as well as a funding commitment to Cross River Rail.”

Deputy Premier and Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Jackie Trad said the State Infrastructure Fund would also allocate up to $20 million to deliver business cases for other priority projects.

“This business case phase is critical to leveraging private sector and federal government investment, through other funding sources like the $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility,” Ms Trad said.

“We have also earmarked $180 million to deliver regionally significant infrastructure projects identified by communities for communities.

“We will soon begin work to identify how this $180 million investment can be used most effectively to deliver jobs and grow Queensland’s economy after the resources boom.

“Our $500 million State Infrastructure Fund builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s existing capital budget of $35 billion over four years, which has supported more than 27,500 jobs across Queensland this year alone.”

Ms Trad said the State Infrastructure Plan also outlined a clear, four-year pipeline of projects to provide the private sector with the confidence to invest in people and resources, by knowing what projects will be in market when.

“Providing the private sector with a transparent pipeline of work is vitally important, particularly after the LNP failed to deliver a single infrastructure plan during their three years in government.

“Through the SIP, we now have an infrastructure blueprint that will meet the future demands of our population and deliver economic growth and jobs for Queenslanders year after year through better infrastructure planning and better decision-making.

“We are completely transforming how our state prioritises infrastructure, by taking the politics out of the planning process.

“This was made very clear when we established Building Queensland, to provide our government with independent, expert advice and ensure infrastructure projects government-wide are prioritised based on rigorous business cases, including cost-benefit analyses and community benefits.

“The State Infrastructure Plan will further guide us to deliver the right projects at the right time, and it will also ensure we deliver jobs for Queensland far beyond the mining boom, providing much needed certainty for our construction industry.”



Other key reform measures outlined in the State Infrastructure Plan include:

  • Establishing an Infrastructure Cabinet Committee to drive infrastructure coordination and development
  • Establishing an Infrastructure Portfolio Office to coordinate and integrate state government infrastructure, land-use and economic planning
  • Developing five new strategic infrastructure network plans for Transport, Water, Energy, Digital and Social infrastructure
  • Enhancing the government’s ability to fund and finance infrastructure through a focus on value capture and improving alternative funding and financing options in Queensland
  • Reviewing fragmented local government infrastructure grants programs to optimise prioritisation; and
  • Establishing a joint industry/government Infrastructure Innovation Taskforce, and a Community Infrastructure Reference Group to provide thought leadership through a prioritised program of work.

For more information or to view the State Infrastructure Plan visit


Price slump smashes oil and gas exploration

The collapse in global oil prices over the past 12 months is decimating oil and gas exploration activity in Australia, according to independent analyst EnergyQuest.

EnergyQuest chief executive officer Dr Graeme Bethune detailed findings of the group’s March quarterly report at the Australia Domestic Gas Outlook conference in Sydney.

He said the total number of exploration and development oil and gas wells drilled in Australia had nearly halved, falling from 1534 in 2014 to 821 last year, including exploration wells falling from 119 to 54.

“In that time, exploration spending fell from $1034 million in Q4 2014 to $446 million in Q4 2015,” Dr Bethune said.

“This is Australia’s lowest oil exploration spend in a decade.”

However development drilling in Queensland was highlighted as a positive amid the gloom.

“This region will need to maintain production to fuel the LNG projects,” Dr Bethune said.

“Drilling there fell from 1173 wells in 2014 to 612 wells in 2015. This was a natural consequence of the initial need to drill, discover and develop maiden gas flows for the commissioning cycles for the new LNG plants - but substantial numbers of additional development wells are still needed now as the plants move to long-term output.

“Production of close to 1500 petajoules (PJ) per annum from the Bowen and Surat basins is needed to underpin the Gladstone-based LNG projects as well as to meet other demand.

“Some of the best fields are able to deliver 2PJ or more per well. If this could be achieved on average across the basins, it would still imply a need for 750 wells per annum.

This figure seems to be what the LNG companies are assuming, with plans to drill 800 wells a year in total. However, many areas are poorer than this and recoveries will fall over time. Average recoveries of 1 PJ per well would therefore need around 1500 wells per annum.”

Australian LNG export revenue was growing quickly to “benefit the whole economy”, the report showed.

Gross Australian LNG production in 2015 was 30.4 million tonnes - an increase of 23.5 per cent year on year.

As the new east coast LNG plants soak up available gas, EnergyQuest forecast a southern supply gap of about 80PJ in 2020, increasing to about 170PJ in 2025.

The oil price slump did not hit sales, with Australian oil and gas company sales volumes up strongly in the fourth quarter of 2015 (by 6.8 per cent on average) - but revenue realised per barrel of oil equivalent fell by an average 29 per cent.

The price-hit players in Australia’s energy sector saw the ASX 200 Energy Index halve - from 15,332 in September 2014 to 7511 at the end of January 2016 – its lowest level in 11 years.

Fourteen of the 79 oil and gas juniors on the ASX are either exiting the industry, being forced into major asset sales and/or contemplating a switch to another sector, according to EnergyQuest.

AGES highlights latest data, best prospects

Industry experts are set to gather in Alice Springs next week to attend the 17th Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES).

Northern Territory Mines and Energy Minister David Tollner said AGES presented an opportunity for industry to access the latest in fresh exploration ideas and geoscientific data on the NT’s minerals, oil and gas resources.

“AGES is an event that continues to grow in its reputation and importance as the key technical forum and networking event for the Territory’s exploration industry,” he said.

Key highlights for AGES 2016 include:

  • the release of the latest data and information on the highly prospective McArthur River Basin including the Beetaloo Sub-basin
  • new concepts on copper mineral systems in Central Australia
  • release of a joint Government-industry seismic survey over Tennant Creek
  • a technical workshop by CSIRO on the applied use of geophysical data for petroleum and minerals exploration
  • workshops on legislative frameworks for mineral and petroleum exploration

The program will also include technical presentations on recent exploration highlights from companies including Teck Australia, Santos, Newmont, Independence Group, Newmarket Gold, Origin Energy, KGL Resources and Emmerson Resources.

AGES will also present new geoscience results and concepts generated from the Territory Government’s largest exploration investment – the four-year, $23.8 million Creating Opportunities for Resource Exploration (CORE) initiative.

Delegates from around Australia and internationally will attend the AGES conference at the Alice Springs Convention Centre on March 15-16.

More at

Komatsu expands CQ services

Komatsu Australia has expanded its service and support operations in the Central Queensland region, adding two resident technicians in Clermont and one in Barcaldine along with increasing capabilities at its Emerald branch.

These increased capabilities have allowed the branch, which has been in operation for the past 10 years, to move to a full 24/7 operation.

Emerald branch manager Darryl Anderson said the expansion had been driven by customer demand, machine population in the region, and understanding the needs of customers.

“With our increased technician base, we have gained experience which allows us to work on a variety of makes and models,” he said.

“Our resident service technicians at Clermont and Barcaldine are complemented by increased capabilities at (Komatsu’s) Emerald branch – the primary service centre for the Bowen Basin mining industry.”

The expanded capabilities include:

  • - Installing new hydraulic cylinder benches, giving the ability to overhaul any size cylinder up to the largest mining equipment
  • - Additional autoelectricians, giving increased capacity to maintain and service all autoelectrical faults as well as airconditioning repairs on earthmoving equipment.
  • - Increased workshop capabilities, to maintain and overhaul machine components locally
  • - Bringing in a 100-tonne mobile track press.

Queensland Nickel staff laid off

Voluntary administrators FTI Consulting have laid off all staff at Queensland Nickel, effective tomorrow afternoon.

There were more than 500 staff left at the Yabulu facility north of Townsville following the first round of redundancies more than  month ago.

Last Monday ( March 7) the administrators received notice that Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd would replace Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd as the manager of the operations at the Yabulu refinery ‘with immediate effect’.

FTI said the staff could be re-employed by the new management company. Reports this afternoon indicated that was dependent on the new management company getting the appropriate licences to operate the refinery.

The decision to replace Queensland Nickel as joint venture manager was determined by the director of QNI Resources and QNI Metals, Clive Mensink.

As a result the administrators no longer had operational or management control of the Yabulu Refinery, FTI said in a statement.

“Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd, the newly appointed manager of the refinery, may offer current employees of Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd employment but the administrators are currently unaware of the terms or timing of those offers.

“The administrators have impressed on Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd the urgency of the situation and the need to quickly resolve the ongoing employment of staff. At this time the administrators are uncertain as to the status of future employment offers by Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd.

“The terminations of employment and uncertainty regarding the new offers is a deeply regrettable situation, although unavoidable given the administrators no longer have operational control of the refinery.”

Townsville Enterprise chair Kevin Gill called for the employees of Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd to be transferred immediately to the new company structure under Queensland Nickel Sales.

“Clive Palmer indicated at the start of the week that his intention was to ‘find a solution to secure the long-term operations of the Yabulu refinery and its workforce in the best interests of the Townsville economy’,” Mr Gill said.

“At the moment, over 500 employees are uncertain about their future and the future of a company that contributes over $1.3 billion to the local economy is in jeopardy.

“In the best interests of the families of the 500 workers, in the best interests of businesses that rely on this refinery and in the best interests of North Queensland – Queensland Nickel Sales must keep the doors open by offering employment contracts immediately.”

New face for regional development

The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Graeme Kanofski as the new chair of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fitzroy and Central West committee until the end of 2017.

Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash said the appointment was good news for regional policy in Queensland and would greatly assist the Fitzroy and Central West RDA committee to continue to provide vital input to the Australian and Queensland governments and inform regional policy processes.

“Graeme’s many years of experience working with local government in Queensland will help the RDA Fitzroy and Central West committee work with the community to meet and resolve local challenges head-on,” she said.

“I would like to thank the former chair Kym Mobbs for his leadership and contribution to the development of the community through the work of the RDA Fitzroy and Central West.”

Mr Kanofski’s previous roles include Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer and transfer manager for the recently de-amalgamated Livingstone Regional Council. He also sits on the board for CQ Health.

His focus is on critical infrastructure, strategic development and long-term sustainability for the region.

Regional Development Australia consists of a national network of 55 committees designed to focus on regional economic development and facilitate local projects that aim to make a difference in their local communities.

Information on the work currently being undertaken by RDA Fitzroy and Central West can be found at: by visiting their Facebook page

Aspiring engineer wins Qld women in resources award

Photo: International Women’s Day_QMEA Winner Tara Toshack


Aspiring environmental engineer and Dysart SHS student Tara Toshack has won the student award in the 11th annual Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) awards presented in Brisbane today. (8Mar16)

The 2016 Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Student Ambassador was flown to Brisbane to collect her award by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

‘I chose this nominated career path as I enjoy learning how science and its theory can be applied to real life situations, and then implementing this knowledge myself,’ said Ms Toshack.

‘I also have a great interest in the effect that different factors have on the environment, and the ways in which we can minimise and rehabilitate these impacts.’

Tara, who is also a member of Young Scientists of Australia, has written many published pieces on the importance of mentoring and supporting girls in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, which can lead to careers in the resources sector.

BMA Asset President Rag Udd said the organisation was proud to support the youth of Central Queensland in their growth and development towards careers in engineering and resources.

‘As one of Central Queensland’s largest employers, we are particularly proud to see a student from our region of operations excelling and seeking to apply her talents in a STEM profession,’ Mr Udd said.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said the awards and breakfast, this year sponsored by Rio Tinto, celebrated and showcased the depth of female talent in Queensland’s resources sector.

‘The awards also provide industry ambassadors and mentors, particularly for women and students thinking about entering the resources field,’ Mr Roche said.

‘The long-term future of our sector relies on attracting and retaining the best people to keep us at the forefront of innovation as we compete in a global market.

‘A workforce with people from diverse backgrounds, including a better gender balance, is critical to supplying the workforce of the future.

‘The attendance of about 800 people across the state today at breakfasts to witness the presentation of these awards is a clear demonstration of our sector’s continued commitment to its goal of at least 20 percent women in non-traditional roles by 2020.’

The awards were presented by the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Grace Grace, QRC President Stewart Butel and WIMARQ Chair Heather Parry.

* The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry/education schools partnership between the Queensland resources sector represented by the QRC and the Queensland Government.

Through its school-industry partnerships, the QMEA’s 35 schools around the state offer programs and experiences to broaden students’ and teachers’ knowledge of the sector and provide pathways for young people into resource sector related careers.

The full list of results:

Exceptional Woman in Qld

Winner: Cecile Wake, Growth Director QGC

Exceptional Young Woman in Qld Resources

Winner: Dannielle Dendle, Engineering Project Coordinator and Project Controls, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Peak Downs Mine

Outstanding Queensland Tradeswoman/Operator/Technician 

Winner: Marianne Finch Dragline/dozer operator BHP Billiton Mitubishi Alliance Saraji Mine

Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources

Winner: Chai McConnnell Principal Consultant Advisian Pty Ltd (part of Worley Parsons Group)

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance
Winner: Aurizon

Exceptional QMEA Student in Queensland Resources
Winner: Tara Toshack Dysart SHS

Women join mine safety board in state first

(Left to Right): Board members include underground mining manager, Ravenswood operations David Mackay; Chief Inspector of Mines Phil Goode (Chair of the Board); Glencore Coal Assets director of operations, Queensland underground Darren Nicholls;  Senior Inspector of Mines Julie Devine; Grosvenor underground operations manager Brad Watson; Poitrel mine production manager Bryony Andrew; UQ Professor of Mining Engineering Brian White; Chief Inspector of Coal Mines Russell Albury; CFMEU industry safety and health representative Greg Dalliston and consultant-underground mine manager Mike Downs.

Two mining engineers have been appointed to the mining industry’s Board of Examiners.

And for the first time in Queensland, they are women.

State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said International Women’s Day was a good time to highlight the credentials of Julie Devine and Bryony Andrew.

“This is an historic first for Queensland but it’s also a vote of confidence in two women who have had impressive careers as mining industry professionals in a male-dominated industry,” Dr Lynham said.

“Women made up less than 15 per cent of the resources sector workforce in 2014 but industry bodies are optimistic about surpassing the 20 per cent mark by 2020.

“Both Ms Devine and Ms Andrew have extensive experience in the mining industry and will make a valuable contribution to the board, which assesses and examines applicants for safety positions and issues certificates of competency.”

The board determines the required qualifications and experience for workers to serve in key safety-critical positions in mines and quarries. All board members must hold a mining certificate of competency and have at least 10 years’ practical mining experience.

Ms Andrew is the manager of the Poitrel coal mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland. She has a background in mining engineering, with significant industry experience as a production manager and development manager.

Ms Devine has been a senior mines inspector with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines since 2009. Before that, she had a two-decade career as a mining engineer, mine manager and mines inspector in Queensland and Papua New Guinea.

With the Board of Examiners meeting again this week, Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to increasing female representation on government boards and committees.

“Since July 2015, women’s representation on government boards has grown from 31 per cent to 37 percent in January 2016,” he said.