The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has welcomed the 2020-21 Federal Budget as a bold national commitment to Australia’s economic recovery and economic future.
But it is continuing calls for the Government to commit to extending the Junior Mineral Exploration Incentive beyond 2020.
“The Budget provides vitally needed financial support programs, individual and business tax relief, matched with investment in long term economic infrastructure that will support Australia’s growth now and into the future,” AMEC chief executive officer Warren Pearce said.
“The Budget rightly focuses on supporting those Australians most impacted by the COVID pandemic.
“The mining industry has helped carry Australia’s economy through this challenging period and will be supported to continue growing. Industry can expect to benefit from a wide range of commitments in this budget.”
Mr Pearce highlighted the $74 billion JobMaker plan, including a $4 billion hiring credit, as well as the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
“$2 billion of new incentives will also spur greater investment in research and development and reverse last year’s shock decision to cut back on R&D, assisting mining companies looking for opportunities to value add, and helping Australia realise greater value from its minerals,” he said.
“Most Australian businesses will now be able to completely depreciate assets that they purchase across the next 21 months, supporting investment in new technology, and productivity and efficiency improvements. This will be especially important for mining industry service providers now looking to re-invest in their businesses and grow.”
“The funding of 100,000 new apprenticeships, through a 50 per cent wage subsidy will also support the development of new high skilled workers needed to grow the mining industry.”
“A further $7.5 billion will be invested in new road and rail infrastructure across the country, supporting the nation’s economic productivity into the future.”
Mr Pearce said the Commonwealth Government had already committed to a $125 million extension of the Exploring for the Future program before the Budget.
“The Government must now commit to extending the Junior Mineral Exploration Incentive beyond 2020, and support the industry’s effort to find the minerals that will ultimately become new mining projects, injecting new investment into our economy and creating thousands of new jobs,” he said.
That scheme remains under review, with a decision expected in the near future, according to the office of Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt.