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A report from the Mineral Council of Australia (MCA) has highlighted the need for investment in mining now more than ever.

The report found that another mining boom would see Australian households $11,700 better off, with wages 9.4 per cent higher and a $290 million boost to the economy by 2030.

“Maintaining Australia’s competitive edge in mining will require immediate and coordinated action by government, to ensure a prosperous future for all Australians,” MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said in response to the report.

“The sector is a prolific job creator and wage booster, with the minerals industry supporting over 1.1 million jobs and paying the highest average wages at $151,500.”

Constable opened the Minerals Week Seminar with a speech on this very matter.

“Australia’s minerals industry is ideally placed to lead global efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” Constable said in her address.

“If Australia is to fully capture the benefits from this once-in-a-century opportunity, we need government to be good at what it does so that Australia is an attractive destination for mining investment.

“Our industry’s success in securing the future prosperity of Australians will depend on government ensuring policy settings provide companies with the flexibilities and ability to improve their productivity and remain internationally competitive.”

Between the 2012–13 to 2021–22 financial years mining companies paid $252 billion in wages to Australians, on top of $295 billion in taxes and royalties that fund hospitals, schools, aged care, childcare and infrastructure.

According to the report, for every new job created in mining, 6.14 new jobs are created across all industries.

Constable underlined that while Australia has the attributes, the workforce, the expertise and the array of deposits required to be a leading global supplier of critical minerals, governments have a critical role to play.

She said the push to unlock this opportunity must be supported with enabling government policy that improves Australia’s competitiveness in attracting investment, clears regulatory impediments and boosts productivity.

The report put forward recommendations to support the mining industry across five key themes:

  • reduce the regulatory burden to attract investment
  • advance policies that support competitive project returns
  • deliver efficient public infrastructure and services
  • make support for mining a political imperative
  • put business and productivity at the centre of fiscal policy.

“As global demand for minerals and metals intensifies and other resource-rich countries are responding, time is running out for Australia,” Constable said.

“The opportunity is there for the taking.”