Australian Resources & Energy Group AMMA says tasking the Productivity Commission with reviewing and reducing unnecessary red-tape for resources project approvals is a significant step to enhancing the industry’s economic, employment and regional contributions.
“AMMA and its members are pleased the Morrison Government has wasted little time in actioning priorities from its National Resources Statement,” AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott said.
“It is appropriate that identifying and cutting unnecessary red-tape in major project approval processes is first cab off the rank. This was a key theme raised by AMMA member company senior executives to Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan during the 2018 Resources 2030 Taskforce.
“From a sovereign risk perspective, approvals for nationally important resources projects continue to be embarrassingly slow in Australia.
“Australians should not have to put up with bureaucratic inefficiencies and government duplication that delays, or in some cases disincentives, major projects that bring huge employment and economic benefits to the regions.
“A more streamlined and clear approach for balancing environmental protection with industry growth will help secure investment in new projects that drive Australian jobs and underpin our economy.”
AMMA notes the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Competitiveness Report ranks Australia a dismal 77th in the world for “burden of government regulation” – well behind other OECD nations including the United States (4), New Zealand (19), the United Kingdom (27) and Canada (53).
As the government addresses this, AMMA encourages it to also pursue improvements to the nation’s industrial relations laws, including cutting red tape and inefficiencies in enterprise agreement making.
“A number of minor changes to the processes for making agreements and having them approved in the Fair Work Commission would significantly improve the system for both employers and employees,” Mr Knott said.
“Further, allowing enterprise agreements to run the length of major project construction would have a huge positive impact on investor certainty and industrial stability in our country.
“These are just two areas in which Australia’s employment laws require immediate action.
“AMMA commends the Morrison Government for seeking to lift the performance and reduce the burden of government processes, which should be uncontroversial and deserving of bipartisan support in the Federal Parliament.”