A pivotal innovation priority for Australia

Australia ASTER Ferric Content_300dpismall (1)For those of you that missed AMEC’s 04 May media release here it is again – It sounds like good news and a $100 million won’t go astray, or will it? Please feel free to share and comment.

The allocation of $100 million to Geoscience Australia to produce pre-competitive data for the Exploring for the Future program is excellent news and is applauded.

Exploration geoscience must be central to the nation`s innovation agenda. Australia has a competitive advantage in resource development and must seize the opportunity for science and innovation, together with vital new capital investment in exploration, to improve discovery rates in Australia.

To compliment the extra geoscience funding AMEC would like to see a long term rollover and additional annual commitment to the Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) in the Forward Estimates in order to stimulate investment in eligible Australian junior mineral exploration companies who would be able to provide shareholders with a tax offset equivalent to the company tax rate.

The production of pre-competitive data by Geoscience Australia, the State and Territory Geological Surveys and the EDI are inextricably linked if we are to improve exploration outcomes and provide new mines for future generations.

These strategies are also vitally important recognising that a number of large producing mines are coming to an end and not being replaced at a fast enough rate.

New mines will create thousands of jobs and generate significant economic and social dividends for the nation and local communities. The Government should also consider its role in unlocking resource projects that are ‘stranded’ due to the lack of cost effective infrastructure (power, port and rail), approvals delays or access to finance. These need to be facilitated or fast tracked where possible.

The enterprise tax plan to reduce the corporate tax to 25% for all Australian resident companies by 2026/27 is a significant step in the right direction, but needs to be implemented sooner to be a clear incentive for job creation and an economic boost throughout the nation.

The sensible plans to cut waste, reduce unnecessary spending and red tape in Government are essential, as there are limited opportunities to increase revenue in the current economic environment. These initiatives have to be a feature of the Government`s Budget and Forward Estimates. There cannot be a ‘business as usual approach’, as times have changed considerably.

All Australian mining and exploration companies have had to implement savings and efficiency measures on a daily basis to control cash flow and keep their operations going. The Government has to do the same.

Media source: Media release:- Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC)

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