Australia: Federal Budget backs mining to drive economic recovery

The Australian Government’s 2020-21 Budget is a win for the mining industry as it prioritises training and education, and research and development in manufacturing and supporting industries.

This includes a new JobMaker hiring credit to accelerate employment growth for a post COVID-19 recovery, giving businesses incentives to employ job seekers aged 16 to 35 years old.

This $2,8 billion pledge will support about 450,000 positions for young people from the 2020-21 financial year to the 2022-23 financial year.

The government is prioritising skills development with its JobMaker plan, which will ensure Australians have the right skills for the jobs of the future.

Recognising the importance of cutting red tapes to boost economic recovery, the Australian Government will reduce regulations that impose costs, making it easier for new mining projects to get up and running.

It will also spend $1.07 billion on a modern manufacturing strategy, following the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the importance of flexible and adaptable supply chains and manufacturing capabilities and $395 million to support regional Australia.

The Australian Government estimated that investment in the mining industry is forecast to grow 5.5 per cent this financial year, compared with 4.8 per cent in 2019-20.

The Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable commented on the budget, stating that it confirmed the mining industry was key to recovery, jobs and essential services in Australia.

She said JobMaker provides initiatives for the industry to accelerate job creation and investment with its wage subsidy for companies taking on new apprentices.

“Mining companies had already mapped new opportunities for education and training of existing and future workers and the industry welcomes the support in the budget for this response,” Constable said.

“The government’s employment support scheme JobMaker provides welcome initiatives, notably the temporary full expensing of capital assets, temporary loss carry-back, wage subsidy for apprentices and changes to the research and development tax incentive.

“Additional funding to ensure timely approvals and progress reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 will support industry investment and expedite projects.”

During the 2018-19 financial year, Australian minerals companies contributed $28 billion in company tax and royalties and the industry generated $203 billion in exports during this period.

Source: www.australianmining.com.au