Considering tax incentives to encourage individuals to live and work in mining areas is among the recommendations of 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, and was handed down this week.
Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt 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 boom is not over,” Senator 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.”
Taskforce recommendations include:
- 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
Mr Cripps said he believed the Australian resources sector was under-appreciated and under-acknowledged when it came to creating national wealth and opportunity.
“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,” Mr Cripps said.
Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch and Mackay-based Resource Industry Network general manager Adrienne Rourke were among the taskforce members.