Resources To Enter New Phase But Growth Not Over
Western Australia’s peak resources representative body says headlines created by the Deloitte Access Economics report released today predicting an end to the ‘boom’ did not paint an accurate picture of the industry’s future.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith said the nature of the resources sector would change as the construction of projects were completed in the near term and moved into production but this was not a signal the sector would decline.
“Construction of the current wave of projects is expected to peak over the next 18 months and those projects will then move into the production phase which requires different skills and is expected to last until the end of this decade,” Mr Howard-Smith said.
“We’ve got a long way to go. There are expansions currently under construction and significant new oil and gas projects and mineral projects which haven’t started producing, so the full economic benefits are yet to be felt.
“The WA resources sector continues to perform strongly and was the major reason Australia was able to avoid much of the global financial crisis.
“WA is incredibly lucky to have this enormous mineral endowment and it’s important we continue to sustainably develop new projects and push ahead with expansion plans in partnership with the West Australian community.”
Mr Howard-Smith said Australia had to be seen as a desirable place to invest to ensure the resources sector continued to grow.
“There are concerns that Australia is becoming a less attractive place to develop projects and investment may be driven to other regions because of additional layers of taxation through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the Carbon Tax, coupled with rising costs for doing business and an inability to source skilled labour,” he said.
“It’s therefore important that both the State and Federal Governments support policies that focus on improving productivity such as encouraging people moving around the country to fill job vacancies, genuine tax reform and cutting green and red tape.”
CME is currently working with PricewaterhouseCoopers on a third update of its State Growth Outlook study. First published in April 2009 and refreshed in April 2011, the document will provide data on the expected demand arising from growth in the mining and resources sector through to 2025.
To be released later this year, the 2012 report will consider port, aviation, and road requirements along with demand for people, energy and water.