Australia is facing the most difficult short term economic environment in a generation and urgent fiscal stimulus is required, according to the Minerals Council of Australia’s 2009-2010 pre-budget submission.
In the submission released yesterday, the Council said the minerals industry was reeling from slashed commodity prices, delayed investment projects, reduced production and substantial job cuts.
“These developments mean the 2009-2010 Budget is being framed in a vastly different economic environment to that faced a year ago or indeed to that envisaged a few months ago,” the report said.
The submission identified three broad policy imperatives that would guide both the framing of the budget and broader policy settings including the importance of Government responsiveness, a continuing commitment to address capacity constraints in the industry and new policies that would enhance rather than diminish the economy.
The MCA supported the Federal Government’s short term fiscal stimulus to complement the easing of monetary policy being pursued by the Reserve Bank.
The council also agreed with the Government’s decision to implement an emissions trading scheme. However, the council said it was concerned the scheme would not provide a measured transition to a lower emissions economy.
The council also recommended several changes to the current Fair Work Legislation in the submission.
According to the MCA, the bill needs to be amended so that existing union rights dealing with workplace entry remained intact and good faith bargaining rules be amended to respect commercial arrangements.