Australian government releases first national resources plan in two decades

The Australian government has released the first National Resources Statement in two decades, which aims to boost the country’s position as a global leader in the resources sector.

The statement outlines how the government will attract investment, develop new resources and markets and share the benefits of success with more regional communities.

This is the first such statement for more than 20 years.

There is a bright future for the resources sector given the economic growth occurring in our region.

By 2030, Asia will produce more than half the world’s economic output, consume 40 per cent of its energy and be home to a middle class of almost 3.5 billion people.

Given this growth, and if Australia can maintain its global share of commodity production, at least 24,000 new direct mining jobs could be created, according to the federal government.

To achieve more success in the resources sector, the government will focus on five key priorities:

1. Attracting investment,

2. Developing new resources, industries and markets,

3. Investing in new technologies, especially to improve environmental outcomes,

4. Creating well paid secure jobs, and

5. Ensuring local communities receive benefits from mining activities

Some elements will be progressed in collaboration with the states and territories through the Australian Governments Energy Council, given their responsibilities in regulating the resources sector.

This includes an agreement to establish a new critical minerals work program to boost exploration, develop a data strategy to de-risk investment decisions, and build community confidence in the sector.

This week the government announced priority status for funding applications related to critical minerals projects under a $20 million initiative of the Cooperative Research Centres Project (CRC-P). 

The government will also progress a number of initiatives under the statement, including:

  • Promoting a national resources brand to market the advantages of Australia as a resources investment destination to the world,
  • Supporting the development of new resource basins through cooperation with state and territory jurisdictions, like our MoU with the Northern Territory on the development of the Beetaloo Basin,
  • Continuing to invest in the most advanced seismic and aero-magnetic surveys to help discover the next major mineral find through the $100m Exploring for the Future program, and
  • Improving the consistency and scope of data across the resource sector

The resources sector makes up 8 per cent of our economy and exports are predicted to reach a record $250 billion in 2018–19.