• Media Release

Mining continues to underpin the Australian economy

The 2024-25 Federal Budget has once again highlighted the significance of mining to the Australian economy.

Tonight’s budget surplus is a direct result of the robust contributions from the mining industry.

The mining industry contributed over half of all the company tax collected from large companies and continues to play a crucial role in funding the government services we all rely on.

Tonight’s Budget surplus can be repeated.

With the right policy settings in place, the industry can continue to propel the economy forward.

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King has delivered significant measures for the industry on exploration, foreign investment, subsidies and common user infrastructure that will help improve the minerals industry’s investment and competitiveness and deliver for Australian communities.

The Government’s initiative to streamline the rules and processes under the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act (FATA) will help facilitate investment proposals in minerals projects from strategic partner countries, enhancing the industry’s global competitiveness.

The announcement of $566 million in funding for Geoscience Australia is a significant development. Enabling public access to a richer set of nationally consistent pre-competitive data offers a detailed investment prospectus for mining companies but also paves the way for more precise and productive exploration efforts.

These are measures that the MCA has long called for and will increase opportunities for Australian critical minerals development.

That said, overall Government must do more to improve Australia’s global competitiveness and attract much needed investment.

Production tax credits to attract investments in mining and minerals processing may help to position Australia in the global clean energy transition.

However, in light of the Treasurer’s warning about global uncertainty shaping this Budget and noting that these credits will have no immediate impact on the Budget, the MCA will continue to work with the Government and Treasury to better understand the long-term benefits this policy could offer.

At a time when Australia grapples with decaying productivity and looming long-term structural fiscal deficits, the Government is imposing regressive policies on the sector that dampen the investment growth critical to achieving our economic potential.

Unfortunately this Budget only scratches the surface of what is needed to ensure the Australian minerals industry remains competitive.

The company tax rate of 30 per cent dissuades businesses from investing and innovating within Australia, as more favourable returns can be found elsewhere.

Environmental approval uncertainties, escalating energy costs, and damaging changes to industrial relations policies also contribute to the investment environment.

Looking forward, as global competition intensifies, particularly from other resource-rich economies keen to capitalise on the demand for minerals essential for a net zero future, it is imperative that Australia is at the forefront.

The Federal Government must remember that it is business and industry, both large and small who are the real wealth creators in Australia.

Every Australian has a stake in the success of our mining industry, and it is time that the Federal Budget reflects that reality.