Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive Mitchell Hooke has called on the Federal Government to “get on with the job” of instituting economic reforms and improving infrastructure.
In its 2010 Pre-Budget submission to the Government, the MCA recommended an agenda of low Government spending, systematic infrastructure improvement and reforms that take full account of sovereign risk.
“The Rudd Government has set down positive markers for long-term prosperity, including commitments to control spending and return the budget to surplus, build the nation’s infrastructure, reform business red tape and regulation and continue trade and investment liberalisation,” Hooke said.
“It is time to get on with the job.
“Without the Federal Government’s strategic leadership to facilitate investment and to drive regulatory reform, Australia risks revisiting the past when capacity constraints resulted in a loss of global market share in key minerals commodities and an opportunity cost to national income and economic welfare.
“Economy-wide policies such as taxation reform, climate change management, research and development and workplace relations must enhance, not detract from, the competitiveness of Australia’s globally-engaged industries, including the minerals sector.”
The Pre-Budget submission also identified four areas of concern for the minerals industry, including climate change measures, changes to research and development arrangements, provisions in the Fair Work Act and potential reforms to mining royalties.
“The minerals industry is not a ‘milch cow’ for repairing the budget or for other policy objectives such as reforms to state and company taxes or the social security tax interface,” Hooke said.