CCIWA Chief Economist
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) welcomes the Federal Government’s critical minerals strategy released today, but emphasises the importance of implementing supporting policies to ensure its success.
CCIWA, in collaboration with the State Government, recently embarked on a mission to promote Western Australia’s critical minerals potential in the United States. This effort highlighted the intense competition Australia faces in capitalizing on this significant opportunity, requiring a concerted effort to position the nation as an attractive investment destination.
Two policy areas hold particular significance in determining Australia’s investment appeal: industrial relations and approvals.
Regarding industrial relations, the government’s multi-employer bargaining reforms are yet to reveal their full impact on the economy. Continuous monitoring is crucial, and CCIWA anticipates that significant adjustments will be needed. Additionally, the proposed ‘same job same pay’ policy poses a genuine risk to the resources sector. It is imperative that we limit the worst of this policy if we intend to foster the critical minerals sector.
On approvals, WA’s state government is aware of the danger that longer approvals timeframes pose for developing the critical minerals sector. It must now deliver on ensuring approvals are provided in a timely manner. At the federal level, the introduction of a national environmental protection agency and other changes to federal environmental laws risk hindering Western Australia’s advancement in the critical minerals sector.
The critical minerals strategy commits to “enable fast, efficient, and durable environmental approvals.” It is critical that the government honours this commitment. Failure to do so would impede Australia from fully realizing its critical minerals potential.
CCIWA urges the government to follow up the release of its strategy by implementing supportive policies that create a favourable investment environment. By doing so, Australia can strengthen its position in the race to harness the substantial economic benefits offered by the critical minerals sector.
Media contact: Tom Adolph 0427 876 846