No surprises for miners in federal budget

AUSTRALIAN mining industry groups have welcomed last night’s federal budget.
No surprises for miners in federal budget No surprises for miners in federal budget No surprises for miners in federal budget No surprises for miners in federal budget No surprises for miners in federal budget

Staff reporter

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies CEO Warren Pearce said there had been "no surprises" for the sector in the budget.

There were funds in the budget for the four-year, A$100 million Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI).

"The JMEI will encourage much needed investment in Australian greenfields mineral exploration," Pearce said.

AMEC also welcomed the continued funding of the Research and Development Tax Incentive.

"There is substantial investment in innovation and research in the mining and mineral exploration sector, so the continuation of this tax incentive is good news for industry," said Pearce.

Both AMEC and the Minerals Council of Australia support a reduction in the corporate tax rate, which they say will increase the competitiveness of Australian businesses.

If passed, the Enterprise Tax Plan is set to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25% by 2026.

MCA interim CEO David Byers noted the budget's heavy reliance on growth in resources exports.

"With resources accounting for a record $207 billion in exports in 2017 - more than half Australia's total export earnings - it is clear that the minerals industry is critically important to economic prosperity," he said.

"Treasury is forecasting growth in mining exports of 4% in 2017-18 and 6.5% in 2018-19. Mining industry capital expenditure is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2019-20 as mining companies maintain the capital stock built up during the mining investment boom.

"By 2019-20 Australia's mining exports will have roughly doubled since the start of the mining investment boom. This is boosting wages, jobs and tax revenues for all Australians.

"The mining sector is also making a major contribution to the $5.2 billion increase in company tax receipts since the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook estimates last December."

The MCA said the government should be looking to long-term economic reform.

"Only a genuine reform program, which boosts investment and workplace productivity, can deliver the strong and lasting growth required for serious budget repair," Byers said.

"These reforms should include a comprehensive deregulation and competition policy agenda, a more flexible and productive workplace relations system and streamlined major project assessment processes."