The Industrial Mining Supply Chain (IMSC) Group, which represents Australian mining firms, says it will be “very concerned” if a report by the Productivity Commission into mining employment is published.
The group’s president, Dr David Smith, said the report would be “particularly concerning” if it “does not include an assessment of the impact of the Government’s mining policies on employment, wages and wages growth”.
“The impact of mining policies is very clear: a higher cost of living and more stress on the labour market,” he said.
“This will mean that fewer people will be employed in the mining industry, which is a loss for the community.”
He said the industry “will suffer” from “the effects of the proposed policy changes”.
Mr Smith said the government should consider whether it was “appropriate to impose a higher royalty rate on minerals that are mined on Australian soil, rather than on the world market”.
He cited the case of copper, gold and platinum, and said the Government had failed to consider the impact on the industry.
Mr Turek said the Coalition had a duty to “do the right thing” on mining policy, but that it was also “appropriate” to look at the impact.
“[The Government] has a duty of care to its taxpayers and to those in the industry,” he told the ABC.
But the Government has been criticised for not acting sooner, and the report has caused concern among union officials.
It has also been criticised by Labor and independent MP Tony Windsor, who said the impact was “unfair”.
Dr Smith said it was important to “look at all the options” to increase mining jobs, including “extending and upgrading existing mines”.
The report, by the National Productivity Reviewer, looked at the impacts of mining policy on the country’s economy, with the aim of assessing the “economic and social impact of policies”.
It found there was “no evidence” that “the policy was a positive one for employment or economic growth”.
Dr Smith was asked if the Government should be “giving up” on coal seam gas.
He replied: “No.
I think the Government is committed to the development of coal seam, and we have to do everything possible to ensure that the coal seam industry continues to develop and thrive”.
Labor and independent MPs are calling for the Government to review mining policy and whether to lift the royalty rate to make it more competitive with global markets.
They also want the Government “to take a stand” against the “cost of living crisis” that has hit the mining sector.
Topics:mining-industry,industry-and-finance,government-and ofcom,business-economics-and the-economy,business,businessweek,government—state-issues,state-parliament,coronavirus-and/or-disaster-incidents,state—new-zealandFirst posted September 30, 2019 21:35:58Contact Tim BroughtonMore stories from New South Wales