New figures released yesterday indicate that the mining industry continues to underpin the Australian economy with the production phase of the boom gathering momentum.
Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said the latest Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) report showed Australia will reap an 8 per cent gain in export earnings each year for the next four years.
“The Resources and Energy Quarterly–March Quarter 2014 report shows our mining boom is about to get bigger, with the value of Australia’s mineral and energy commodity exports forecast to increase to $199 billion in 2013-14, up from $176 billion in 2012-13,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The mining industry has been central to the Australian economy over the past decade and its contribution will be more important than ever in the years ahead.
“The Coalition has always valued the economic contribution of the resources sector and cautioned against taking it for granted, not only because of the clear value it adds to the national economy, but also because it employs tens of thousands of Australians, in both direct and indirect jobs.
“Many of those jobs are in regional Australia and support regional communities.
“That’s why it’s so important that the right policies are in place to ensure the mining industry can continue to grow, and that investors have confidence in new and existing projects.
“The Australian Government is continuing to work to scrap the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), and the carbon tax, both of which have had a negative impact on the resources sector and continue to weigh heavily, particularly in the major mining states of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.
“We have also acted to end the uncertainty and constant policy changes that the resources sector endured from the previous Labor Government.
“In addition to getting rid of the tax burden on the sector, the Australian Government is moving ahead with the introduction of the Exploration Development Incentive, which will support the next wave of exploration and investment.
“Despite softening commodity prices leading to some downward revision since the last BREE report, the future is bright for the industry.
“The investment phase of our mining boom is coming to an end, and now we see the benefits as we shift increasing volumes of product into hungry global resources markets.
“Australia’s resources and energy commodity export earnings will surge upward at 8 per cent a year from 2013–14 to total $284 billion in 2018–19, according to the BREE report.
“Between 2012–13 and 2018–19, LNG exports are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 22 per cent to reach 79 million tonnes, up from 24 million tonnes in 2012–13.
“This Government is firmly behind our miners and our mining industry. We will continue to work to deliver on our policies to get rid of the tax burden on the sector and to scrap excessive red tape.
“Today’s BREE figures reinforce that the resources sector will continue to be essential in delivering greater prosperity for Australia through export earnings, job creation, increased productivity and global competitiveness.”
For free downloads of the Resources and Energy Quarterly report visit the BREE website www.bree.gov.au.