The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into impediments to business investment.
The Australian resources sector makes a significant contribution to growth, incomes and employment in Australia. Resources companies employ approximately 220,000 people in highwage, high-skilled jobs, predominantly in remote and regional Australia. Average earnings in the resources sector are around $140,000 a year, more than 60 per cent higher than the average for all industries.
The Australian resources sector can pay high wages because it is – as the Productivity Commission has noted – a global leader in technological innovation and one of the most productive industries in the world. Research by Treasury confirms that more productive businesses pay markedly higher average real wages and have more capital per worker. Treasury also found that average real wages are higher in exporting businesses and in businesses with foreign shareholders.
The Australian resources sector uses sophisticated production techniques and highly skilled labour to transform natural endowments into valuable exports. The resources sector generates more export revenue for Australia than all other industries combined. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, resources exports (including minerals, metals and petroleum) reached a record high of $207 billion in calendar 2017, accounting for 53 per cent of total exports.
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