Resources Ministers from across the country met in Adelaide yesterday to discuss the outlook for the resources sector and how to secure its potential.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan, said the meeting focused on a fresh long-term strategic reform agenda to drive Australia’s resources sector to be the world’s best.
“This is a strong start to better collaboration between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories to ensure Australia’s resource sector remains a world leader,” Minister Canavan said.
“At the heart of this agenda is attracting investment into the sector to build a stronger economy for all Australians.”
One direct outcome was an agreement to develop a critical minerals work program in response to the wide range of industries which are rapidly changing because of their use in the new economy.
“The program will pull together all jurisdictions and enhance existing state-based initiatives to open up an exciting new future for our resources sector,” the Minister said.
Participating Ministers agreed to the development of a forward work program to facilitate the economic and competitive development of Australia’s minerals and energy resources, along with the five strategic priorities of competitiveness, exploration and new developments, innovation, communities, and workforce.
The meeting resulted in six new action items:
- Establish a framework for the regular benchmarking of policies and regulation which will assess current settings and highlight best-practice across Australia.
- Implement a collaborative new critical minerals work program to boost exploration and open new basins and downstream value-adding activity.
- Develop a data strategy to improve the discoverability and utilisation of key geological, environmental and heritage datasets.
- Identify options to better leverage long-term cross-sectoral research and development to drive whole-of-sector benefits and meet the future industry economic challenges.
- Work to improve community trust in the sector starting with a comprehensive evaluation of current community engagement and benefit sharing practices by industry, government and other bodies to identify best-practice and information gaps.
- The Council will convene a roundtable with industry and academia to identify opportunities to boost tertiary and VET outcomes for the sector (identified as a priority challenge, which if left unaddressed, will significantly constrain the sector’s potential).