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Energy and resources sector “resilient”, minister says

The release of the Resources and Energy Major Projects report by the Chief Economist of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science highlights a strong pipeline of resources investment in Australia, according Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg.

The report found that there are 35 projects at the committed stage worth more than $220 billion, including $195 billion of investment in gas and oil projects, and another 127 projects at the feasibility stage, worth more than $180 billion.

“These strong figures show the resilience of the energy and resources sectors as Australia moves into the production boom of its resources cycle. This follows around $400 billion in investment committed between 2003 and 2014,” Mr Frydenberg said in a statement.

“The Chief Economist also notes that beyond the medium term, the outlook remains positive with non-OECD emerging economies continuing to urbanise and develop, fuelling an ongoing need for resources.

“However, challenges for these sectors do exist, highlighted by a global oversupply of key commodities putting downward pressure on prices. Further, as the report notes, exploration expenditure is down 23 per cent compared to 2013-14.”

Mr Frydenberg said these figures reinforce the government’s focus on implementing initiatives to ensure these vital sectors remain strong, including:

  • removing $4.5 billion of red tape from the economy, including $546 million per annum through one-stop shops for environmental approvals to minimise project delays and costs;
  • opening new and expanding existing market opportunities through our free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea and the Trans Pacific Partnership;
  • a $100 million Exploration Development Incentive to encourage new exploration through tax offsets;
  • expanding our Major Projects Approvals Agency and facilitating investment in essential economic infrastructure through the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility; and
  • establishing two Industry Growth Centres dedicated to expanding Australia’s excellence in mining equipment, technology and services, and the oil, gas and resources sectors.

“Our energy and resources industry is a great Australian success story. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of iron ore, the world’s second largest exporter of coal, and we are projected to become the world’s largest exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas by 2020,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The government is committed to capturing the next wave of investment to ensure Australia continues to be a world leader in these sectors.”

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