• Media Release

Mining is key to Australia’s economic future

The MCA welcomes the Leader of the Opposition acknowledging the significant contribution the Australian minerals industry made to the nation’s economy and the budget surplus – via exports and tax revenue – in his Budget reply speech tonight.

This contribution – thanks to iron ore, thermal and metallurgical coal, gold, aluminium, alumina, bauxite, copper, nickel, lithium and other minerals which are important for the global transition for net zero emissions – was an important reason for the Budget surplus.

In 2021-22, Australia’s exports of minerals, metals and energy commodities was worth $413 billion and accounted for 69 per cent of total export revenue.

In 2022, Australian minerals contributed an estimated $64 billion in company taxes and royalties, an increase of $21 billion on 2021. That total contribution is the equivalent of paying for the entire Medicare scheme or the Childcare subsidy for two years.

Australian minerals have contributed 21 percent of Australia’s GDP growth in the last ten years and 32 per cent ($41 billion) of all company tax paid in the nation in 2022.

This Budget surplus does not have to be a one-off. The predicted fall in mining investment over the coming years can be reversed with the Federal Government ensuring its policies boost productivity and maintain Australia’s international competitiveness as a place to invest.

Businesses, large and small, are the wealth creators of Australia not government.

As the Australian economy continues to face hurdles, and pressure remains on government spending, the Federal Government must do everything in its power to foster economic growth by nurturing investment.

Australia’s vulnerability to competition from resources-rich economies will only grow as they seek to seize the opportunity to supply the minerals and metals needed to achieve global net zero emissions.

To attract a significant proportion of this investment that will create tens of thousands of new regional jobs, business growth and investment should be placed at the centre of government’s policymaking.

Workplace relations, tax, environment, climate change and energy policies that impose unexpected costs on the mining industry threaten the capital investment that underpins its contribution to the economy and the global efforts to decarbonise.

The MCA welcomes the Opposition Leader’s support for nuclear energy. Small modular reactors are a sensible net zero emissions solution that would not only provide the additional firming capacity that Australia’s energy grid requires, but propel Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy.