The Australian Government’s ‘Resources 2030 Taskforce’ has delivered its final report to the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia last Friday (21 September 2018). The taskforce has handed down a broad reform agenda with 29 recommendations aimed at improving several areas in the resources sector and its workforce.
The report first states that the achievements of Australia’s resources sector are remarkable and contribute to the nation’s wealth and living standards, positioning Australia in a strong economic position globally, but we ‘have the potential to do even better’.
The report’s 29 recommendations cover a range of important areas, including:
- Ensuring Australia is an attractive destination for resource sector investment.
- Regular benchmarking of domestic and international policies to identify areas for improvement.
- National expansion of the Commonwealth’s Exploring for the Future program, both onshore and offshore.
- Better coordination of resources-focused curricula at university and VET levels that target the long-term needs of the sector.
- Improving the geoscience data so vital to Australia’s future exploration efforts and promoting new regions and basins for future exploration.
- Collaboration between industry, governments and communities on community engagement.
- Streamlining regulatory frameworks, including bilateral agreements to create genuine one-stop-shops for environmental assessments and approvals.
- Mapping the skills needs of the resources sector for 2030 and beyond.
The Resources 2030 Taskforce comprises of several esteemed members from the industry and the community including Mr Andrew Cripps, former Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (Chair), Mr Mike Henry, President Operations, Minerals Australia, BHP and Cr Joyce McCulloch, Mayor, Mount Isa City Council amongst a great list of other honorable Australian researchers and industry leaders.
Australian Resources and Energy Group, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), commented on the release of the final report, stating that the Commonwealth Government’s Resources 2030 Taskforce has just released ‘the most comprehensive plan for supporting the future of Australia’s resources and energy sector in almost 20 years.’
“Not since the National Resources Statement of the late 1990s has the Australian Government released such a strong vision for the type of collaboration, regulatory reform and investment required to support the future prosperity of Australia’s resources and energy industry,” Tara Diamond, AMMA Director Industry Services, said.
“AMMA congratulates Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan and the Taskforce team for achieving their goal of building a long-term platform for the ongoing development of Australian resources that could, and should, attract bipartisan support in the Australian Parliament,” she added, “we welcome the broad considerations put forward across critical areas including community, innovation and technology, environmental management, exploration and infrastructure.”
The AMMA welcomed a number of recommendations aimed at fostering more positive community sentiment towards the industry, building the future pipeline of skills and talent, and better promoting the industry to the international investment community.
“While comprehensive, the Taskforce Report is however not a complete picture. The AMMA will continue to urge the government that other policy measures, including meaningful workplace relations reform, remains critical to unlocking the industry’s productivity and global competitiveness,” she said.
The full Resources 2030 Taskforce report can be found here.