Senator Hon Matt CanavanLike any team at the height of their career, the Australian resource must work harder than its competitors to keep at the top according to Resource Minister Matt Canavan.

“In the last 20 years, we have seen remarkable growth in the resources sector. We have double the number of people working in mining today than we did before the mining boom. The mining sector regularly contributes over $20 billion in corporate taxation, second to only financial services and it is our biggest export industry accounting for 57 per cent of our exports as a nation.

And while there are enormous opportunities to come, we are facing our greatest competitive threat than we have in the previous 50 years,” said Minister Canavan in a Ministerial Address at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne today.

While the Minister welcomed this competition – in the form of resources from Asian and African nations and from the USA who will soon become net energy exporters again for the first time since the 50s – he was quick to say that all stakeholders in the Australian resources industry need to work hard to retain the nation’s reputation as a premier resources supplier.

To keep the sector at the top of the table, Minister Canavan commissioned the Resources 2030 Taskforce earlier this year.

“The Taskforce was formed to help come up with an agenda to grow these opportunities and to make sure that maintain our spot as the world’s best resources nation,” said Minister Canavan.

The Taskforce made 29 recommendation to the Government who will use them to develop a National Resources Statement – the first since 1998 – which will guide resources policy for the next decade.

While the details of the Statement are still being “fleshed out” the Statement will cover five major themes.

  • Maintaining the attractiveness of Australia as a resources investment destination
  • Facilitate the opening of new opportunities
  • Instilling and maintaining a culture of best practice particularly with emphasis on environmental performance
  • Making sure that Australian’s have access to good, high-paying, secure jobs
  • Building healthy communities near mining operations

According to the Minister, the Resource Statement, which should be delivered by the end of the year, will have a particular focus on providing opportunities and long-term prosperity for Indigenous Australians.

“So many of the current and most likely future mining activities in Australia are close in proximity to some of our most disadvantaged areas. There is not any industry or opportunity we have as a nation that can benefits these communities as much as the mining can.

“We shouldn’t be complacent. It’s not going to happen automatically – and probably hasn’t always been delivered in the history of the industry – but we should take pride that in recent times that the industry has delivered tangible benefits to Indigenous people through the delivery of mining,” finished Minister Canavan.

The International Mining and Resources Conference is Australia’s largest mining event. Bringing together over 6,000 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 90 countries for four days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking. IMARC will run from 29 October to 1 November 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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