The Opposition Leader’s budget in reply speech tonight rightly highlighted respect for the contribution of miners, particularly in regional Australia.
Mining plays an essential role in job creation, training and education, including actively supporting female participation.
Women represent 16.4 per cent of the minerals workforce (some 34,000). The ALP’s $6.2 billion childcare plan will provide more women with access to the workforce and build greater gender equity across all industries.
The minerals industry has long recognised childcare as an important economic measure. From Paraburdoo in Western Australia to Heathcote in Victoria, the industry supports access to childcare to enable local families to fully participate in the mining workforce and the broader economy.
The MCA endorses the Leader of the Opposition’s proposal to develop a jobs and infrastructure plan, building on mining industry work in 2009.
The ALP’s proposal to create an Australian Skills Guarantee to support 1 out of 10 workers employed on every major work site receiving Federal Government funding to be an apprentice, a trainee or cadet will also assist the minerals industry with a pipeline of qualified skilled workers.
Australia’s minerals industry, along with mining equipment, technology and services, is integral to expanding Australia’s manufacturing capabilities and supercharging national productivity.
Supporting a more skilled and diverse workforce is essential to enhancing productivity and needs to be matched by more efficient and effective assessments and approvals, workplace relations and international investment settings.
The focus on reducing emissions is welcome, as is the recognition of the need for affordable energy. Australia’s resources sector provides the materials for all energy technologies.
Industry supports the development of a modern energy system that delivers affordable, reliable, low emission power. As important will be the construction of off-grid power systems to give regional and remote businesses and communities access to energy.