Canavan releases national resources statement

IN WHAT could potentially be one of the final major policy initiatives by the Morrison government, resources minister Matthew Canavan has released a new national resources plan, the first in 20 years.
Canavan releases national resources statement Canavan releases national resources statement Canavan releases national resources statement Canavan releases national resources statement Canavan releases national resources statement

Haydn Black


It outlines how the government aims to support develop new resources and markets, support jobs, attract investment into the wider Australian resources sector and "share the benefits of success with more regional communities".
Rural and regional communities have increasingly become flashpoints over concerns about the impact of large resources projects, particularly new unconventional oil and gas fields, and coal mines, on the water table.
"There is a bright future for the resources sector given the economic growth occurring in our region," Canavan said.
"By 2030, Asia will produce more than half the world's economic output, consume 40% of its energy and be home to a middle class of almost 3.5 billion people. 
"Given this growth, and if Australia can maintain its global share of commodity production, at least 24,000 new direct mining jobs could be created, along with the broader prosperity those jobs will bring."
The Australian parliament has three days left to pass legislation before it will be dissolved ahead of the budget and a general election, likely in mid-May, when the Coalition, which has burnt through two prime ministers, faces an electoral drubbing if polls are accurate.
In the remaining sitting days the delivery of the national resources statement, a promised goal of the government's Resources 2030 Taskforce, is unlikely to receive much attention from MPs, with the government keen to focus on boarder security, encryption laws and superannuation
Other legislative items such as a resources and energy policy issues and banking reforms are being sidelined on the parliamentary agenda.
Despite that, Canavan has promised to start work immediately by progressing some elements of the statement in collaboration with the states and territories through apparatuses such as the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council.
"This includes an agreement to establish a new critical minerals work program to boost exploration, develop a data strategy to de-risk investment decisions, and build community confidence in the sector," he said.
Speaking this morning, Canavan said the government would look to promote a national resources brand for Australia, continue its investment in pre-competitive data such as seismic and aero-magnetic surveys.
The Australian resources sector is responsible for around 8% of the economy and exports, primarily iron ore, coal and LNG, are expected to reach a record $250 billion this fiscal year.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies welcomed the statement.
"AMEC has been calling for a stronger commitment from government and leadership in the resources and minerals industry, and it's pleasing to see the government actioning this through a resources plan," AMEC CEO Warren Pearce said today.
"These priorities and initiatives identified by the Government are all recommendations in AMEC's federal policy platform; we are pleased to see government listening to our industry, in particular the pragmatic recommendations of the Resources 2030 Taskforce."
However, he reiterated calls for the removal of "red tape, complexity and cost from the current state and federal environmental approvals system". 
Earlier this week the Commonwealth government prioritised Cooperative Research Centres grants for up to $3 million for projects relating to critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and titanium that are used commercial technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, mobile phones and electric vehicles.
In December, the inaugural COAG Resources meeting agreed to develop a critical minerals work program.
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