National Mining And Related Industries Day Reminds Us Of Sector’s Critical Role In Economy

Written by:
22 November 2023
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“Australian mining is the backbone of our way of life, and without it we would not be the successful and prosperous nation we are today, with living standards that are the envy of the world,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

On National Mining and Related Industries Day, it is vital to recognise and celebrate the essential, and ongoing, contribution the mining sector makes to Australia, which underpins the living standards and services we all enjoy today.

“Over the past decade, the mining sector has contributed approximately $350 billion in company tax and mining royalties. This is the equivalent to building 10,000 schools, or 400 hospitals, or paying for our Australia’s entire defence budget,” said Mr Wild.

“Too often our political leaders are more than willing to criticise the mining sector, while at the same time using it as their personal piggy bank, raising taxes on the industry to make up for irresponsible spending and unsustainable debt levels.”

Institute of Public Affairs’ analysis of the latest international economic benchmarks confirms, yet again, that our economy is currently being propped up by our world leading resources sector, with Australia’s terms of trade ranked number one in the world for the last five consecutive years.

“In 2021-22, Australian exports of minerals, metals and energy commodities was worth $413 billion, accounting for 69 per cent of total export revenue. Australian minerals have contributed 21% of GDP growth in the past decade, as well as 32 % ($41 billion) of all company tax paid in 2022,” said Mr Wild.

Recent IPA research shows government red tape and regulation across Australia is at record levels, delaying vital resources projects that will help grow our economy and export revenue.

“Australia’s remarkable terms of trade is almost single-handedly due to our mining and agriculture sectors, and the export of iron ore, oil, gas, coal, grain, and meat. Yet, red tape has never been higher, deterring and delaying investment in critical resources projects,” said Mr Wild.

Australia’s mining sector is also responsible providing secure, full-time, and well-paid jobs, particularly in rural and regional communities. Today, 90 per cent of jobs in the sector are full time, compared with two-thirds across the economy, with wages double the economy-wide average.

“Mining employs more regional Australians than any other industry, keeping our regional communities alive and thriving. This means stability for families to grow, allows people to buy their own home, and live successful and fulfilling lives,” said Mr Wild.

Australia’s mining sector faces significant challenges from red tape, re-regulation of the labour market and constant criticism by activists who do not appreciate, nor care, for the contribution that the men and women in the sector make to the nation every day.

“Too often those in the city only hear one-side of the story when the mining and resources sectors are denigrated by activists who want to deny and delay projects, allowing this to happen will shut regional communities down,” said Mr Wild.

“We need leaders to be courageous and back our most productive industries, which is fuelling growth in our economy, keeping the lights on, and paying for the services we all enjoy.”

To download the IPA’s research The Growth Of Red Tape – Causes And Solutions click here.

To download the IPA’s research Australia’s Economic Competitiveness In Continuing Decline click here.

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