Feb 01, 2021

Mining sector in pre-Budget push for reform

Mining sector in pre-Budget push for reform

Peak mining body the Minerals Council of Australia is pushing for reforms it says will allow the industry to play an even greater role in the nation’s post-COVID recovery.

The MCA’s pre-Budget submission to the Morrison Government calls for workplace relations and environmental reforms, as well as attention to skills and the need to boost exploration.

Chief executive officer Tania Constable said the submission outlined how to create jobs, grow the mining sector and reduce debt.

“With the 2021-22 Federal Budget constrained by the persistence of COVID-19, geopolitical tensions, heightened demands on federal and state governments and record government debt, a bigger and more productive Australian minerals industry can accelerate budget repair without new or increased taxes,” she said.

“The Australian minerals industry continues to be a driving force for prosperity in Australia, making substantial contributions to exports, wages, jobs and government revenue.

“Reforms that encourage investment in large and long-life mining projects – such as the government’s planned reforms to environmental regulation, workplace relations rules and education and training – will help Australia realise mining investment opportunities and bring benefits to workers, communities and governments.”

Key reform recommendations in the submission include:

  • Enhancing the skills and training of the minerals workforce through reforms to provide a more flexible and integrated education and training system
  • Supporting more dynamic and productive workplaces by improving the process for terminating expired enterprise agreements, focusing parties to an enterprise agreement on matters directly related to employment and permitting highly paid workers to enter into individual agreements
  • Making Australia’s business tax system more globally competitive and conducive to investment
  • Improving foreign investment regulation reforms to enhance certainty for investors
  • Encouraging exploration in priority greenfield areas
  • Pursuing trade agreements that deliver a robust multilateral trade network within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as with the EU and UK, and opposing protectionist proposals
  • Advancing efficient and effective environmental regulation.