In the national effort to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, the minerals industry will continue to deliver on the substantial contribution it has made over the past 20 years and with the right mix of productivity-enhancing reforms do even more to support and sustain the Australian economy.
The Australian community has looked to its key industrial sectors to help sustain the economy through the pandemic.
The minerals industry responded: implementing a strict health and hygiene regime to protect workers and the communities in which the industry operates, maintaining essential services and supporting community needs and maintaining the production that delivers the substantial royalties and company tax to fund health, education and other critical services.
The minerals industry will play its part in post-COVID reform and rebuilding.
Australia has over 106 mining projects that have completed feasibility studies. The combined $50 billion investment flowing from these projects could create over 32,000 construction jobs and 22,000 ongoing operating jobs across Australia.
Reforms that expand trade and investment opportunities, enhance training and skills, ensure a competitive taxation system, support the discovery of new mining regions and emerging critical minerals, target the development of Northern Australia and enable businesses to adapt and grow will all be essential to sustaining the livelihoods and living standards of Australians.
In 2019, the resources sector generated $289 billion of export revenue (59 per cent of total export revenue) and invested $34 billion in new capital expenditure. Mining investment is a significant driver of economic prosperity in Australia as demonstrated by Reserve Bank of Australia calculations which show the mining investment boom from 2003 to 2013 delivered a 13 per cent increase in household real per capita income and a 6 per cent increase in real wages.
Together, mining and the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector account for approximately 15 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product and support (directly and indirectly) 1.1 million jobs – around 10 per cent of Australia’s total workforce.
The minerals industry also generates a significant amount of revenue for state and federal governments.
Company taxes and royalties paid by the industry increased by $8 billion in 2018-19 to a record $39.3 billion, benefiting all taxpayers through better services and infrastructure.
The resources sector has a strong record in creating highly paid, highly skilled jobs – particularly in regional areas. Average earnings in resources are $141,000 a year, 58 per cent higher than the average for all industries, and the industry employs more than 8,600 apprentices and trainees and more than 6,600 Indigenous Australians, including in remote areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.
Building on the recently established Mining Skills Organisation Pilot, the minerals industry will accelerate 1,000 new apprenticeships in partnership with the Australian Government and in cooperation with the states and the Northern Territory.