Budget can help Australian minerals industry to expand

International MiningThe Minerals Council of Australia says the 2008-09 Budget “takes important steps in the right direction. The MCA commends the overall Budget strategy which introduces a longer term planning framework, focuses on the need to fight inflation by reining in government spending, delivers a strong surplus and tackles capacity constraints,” the Acting Chief Executive Mr Brendan Pearson said today.

“The Budget recognises the need to address skills shortages by rebuilding capacity in the education system, and the importance of renovating critical social and physical infrastructure in export corridors including in regional and remote Australia – which the MCA has long advocated.

“The Budget signals a critical shift to a focus on building new supply capacity in the Australian economy. The importance of this shift cannot be under-estimated. The Australian minerals sector is operating at the limits of its capacity. The sector’s minerals sector’s ability to expand has been hampered by chronic skills shortages, congested and poorly functioning export corridors, emerging shortages of energy and water, inadequate social and physical infrastructure in remote and regional communities, and duplicative requirements for occupational health and safety and land access and use.