The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have voiced concerns over a regulatory reform being needed to spur investment and jobs in the Australian mining industry.
The MCA have stated that future investment and jobs in Australia’s world-class mining industry are being put at risk because reform has stalled in critical areas of streamlining project approvals, and the lack of modernised workplace relations.
The Productivity Commission estimated in August 2017 that adopting its 2013 proposals to make major project assessment processes more effective would reduce extensive project delays and ‘save the economy approximately $240 million’.
Australian mining resources companies currently employ approximately 220,000 people in high-wage, high-skilled jobs, predominantly in remote and regional Australia. The council’ says that ‘The Turnbull Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan – which will ensure that by 2026-27 the corporate tax rate for all Australian corporations will be 25 per cent – should be passed by the Australian Parliament as a matter of urgency’.
Streamlining project approvals and developing workplace relations are key structural reform priorities. The MCA have detailed that ‘improvements in the regulation of workplaces are crucial as existing rules and regulations lock in poor practices that discourage investment, hinder productivity and innovation and put high-wage jobs at risk’.
The value of Australia’s resources exports is greater than all other industries combined ($207 billion in 2017) and mining workers are the best-paid on average of any industry (approximately $140,000 a year), but there is always room for enhanced productivity.
The MCA has submitted a proposal to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into impediments, as a push to reform agenda for boosting investment and jobs in Australia. It is still imperative, however, that government policies to encourage business investment do not distort markets or favour particular industries.
More information on the submission inquiry can be found here.