As we begin a new year and look back on a roller coaster ride in 2011 it seems that 2012 will bring a host of challenges and opportunities for the Australian mining and energy industries.
The Resources and Energy Symposium taking place in the historic outback city of Broken Hill in May 2012 will be perfectly placed to debate some of the key challenges and look at the opportunities that are set to face not only the Australian resources industries but Australia as a whole. July will see the implementation of the carbon tax and this along with the introduction of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax will mean we will be seen as a less investment-friendly country. We as a nation and the resources industry in particular, must work to keep us as globally competitive as possible, or risk losing out to those countries whose governments support resources industries, and encourage off shore investment into the sector. As a vibrant and contributing sector to this economy we cannot aff ord to just sit back and watch.
As a nation we cannot be seen to be complacent as we now live and deal in a global economy and one that, if we don’t continue to look at staying globally competitive we can look at being globally irrelevant. We have already seen increased investment into Africa and Latin America where governments are changing their royalty percentages and improving their information in order to attract more investment. As a result great geologists from Australia are using their skills to find new deposits and create new mines and new jobs in these countries, not creating the jobs and wealth that Australia has right on its own doorstep. These are the very issues that we need to look at and take action on now. Not in five years time when we look back and wonder what happened. We need to also look at how, as an industry, we can educate those not directly associated with the industry about what it means for the Australian economy as a whole but also how mining and energy impacts their daily lives.
The Resources and Energy Symposium is not “just another conference to tick off on the calendar”, it is an event that seeks to encourage robust debate on the very issues facing the industry, and look to ways that we can collaborate and remain competitive. The sub heading is “Future Proofing Australia from a resources perspective” and that is precisely what we must do.
Innovatively the Symposium is also a not- for -profit and is dedicated to increasing the opportunity for students to continue their studies by way of scholarships within the resources field. This is something we feel very strongly about and the more people that support the Symposium the more opportunities we will have to help support more students in their field of endeavour.
As Managing Director of Symposium I am delighted with the support to date of our sponsoring partners that include the Commonwealth Bank’s resources division, CBH Resources and Carpentaria Exploration as well as Runge, Australian Bauxite, Macquarie Drilling and Olympus Innov-X. We also have a very active advisory board that is passionate about making a difference. I look forward to welcoming a larger delegation from Australia and internationally in 2012.