First national plan for Australia's resources sector for 20 years

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan today welcomed a report aimed at making Australia the best resources nation in the world.

The report is the first long-term plan for Australia's resources sector for 20 years.

The report was authored by the Resources 2030 Taskforce, chaired by Andrew Cripps, a former Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines. The taskforce panel comprised representatives from business, academia, government and the community.

Minister Canavan said the report highlighted the mining sector’s importance to the national economy and its contribution to Australia’s high living standards.

“The mining sector is more important to the livelihoods of Australians than it has ever been,” Minister Canavan said.

“Our resources sector accounts for more than half our exports, resources employment is more than double what it was before the mining boom and, most importantly, the share of indigenous employment in resources is higher than in any other industry.

“More than one million Australians owe their jobs to the strength of our resources sector and more than half of these jobs are outside our capital cities.

“The future opportunities for Australian resource jobs remain bright. There is significant growth projected for all of our resource commodity exports, like coal, iron ore and gas. And, demand for the minerals that drive modern technologies, like lithium, rare earths, nickel and cobalt, is surging. Australia produces 10 of the 16 minerals that are needed to make a solar panel.

“The mining boom is not over,” Minister Canavan said. “However, the taskforce's report shows that future opportunities will not fall into our lap. We cannot let complacency turn into missed opportunity. I welcome the report's recommendations to re-invest in Australia's reputation as a stable investment destination.

“We should seek to establish a ‘brand Australia’ to promote our resources sector to the world and attract the investment to drive future resource jobs growth.

“To achieve that we must consider carefully the taskforce's recommendations to grow our resource base, reduce unnecessary approval delays, reinvest in skills and communities and improve environmental performance.

"The Liberal-National government is committed to developing a long-term, bipartisan agenda with all governments to support workers in our resource industry.

“I will build on work of the taskforce to craft a National Resources Statement – the first national statement on resources in 20 years.

“I thank each taskforce member for their efforts in contributing ideas that can drive the growth of a stronger and more competitive resources sector.”

The Resources taskforce has made a number of recommendations including:

  • develop an approach to showcase Australia's attractiveness as an investment destination;
  • regular benchmarking of domestic and international policies to identify areas for improvement;
  • develop strategies to enhance and grow competitive downstream industries, including value-adding for prospective battery and critical-minerals industries;
  • expand the Exploring for the Future program to cover all of Australia and to invest in modern exploration techniques to deliver a "step change" in exploration success rates;
  • investigate tax incentives to encourage individuals to live and work in mining areas;
  • improve environmental performance by establishing consistent approaches to life-of-mine rehabilitation and establish a national repository of environmental data;
  • establish a holistic approach to basin planning and approval processes; and
  • promote the opportunities of a career in the resources sector

Taskforce Chair Andrew Cripps said he was very pleased with the outcome of the work undertaken by the Taskforce.

“The Australian resources sector, in my view, is an under-appreciated and under-acknowledged contributor to the great wealth and opportunity that has been created in this country for many decades and it is important that all Australians understand that the industry can't be taken for granted,” Mr Cripps said.

“There needs to be a focus on good public policy at all levels of government to encourage investment, strong relationships between operators and local communities to develop new projects and a modern approach to environmental management to secure our reputation as a world-class resources jurisdiction.”     

Taskforce members:

  • Andrew Cripps, former Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (Chair)
  • Mike Henry, President Operations, Minerals Australia, BHP
  • Cr Joyce McCulloch, Mayor, Mount Isa City Council
  • Dr Chris Pigram, former CEO of Geoscience Australia
  • Will Robinson, Managing Director, Encounter Resources Limited
  • Erica Smyth AC, Chair, Advisory Board, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority
  • Paul Flynn, CEO and Managing Director, Whitehaven Coal
  • Professor Marcia Langton, Foundation Chair, Australian Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • Adrienne Rourke, General Manager, Resource Industry Network
  • Professor Stephen Smith, Professor of International Law, University of Western Australia.

More information about the Resources 2030 Taskforce, including its report, is at https://industry.gov.au/resources2030taskforce

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