Industry welcomes federal budget reforms

Parliament House, Canberra.

Mining industry organisations such as the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and Queensland Resources Council (QRC) have backed the Turnbull Government’s 2018 federal budget.

The budget has forecast mining export growth of 4 per cent for 2017–18 and 6.5 per cent for 2018–19 and industry capital expenditure is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2019–20.

A release from the QRC called the budget “surprise free,” with QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane commenting that “the federal budget is based on tax cuts and jobs growth. The budget papers show the resources sector pays more and more taxes and employ more and more Australians.

“The federal budget also is expecting an extra $3.7 billion in taxes over the next four years based on improved mining profitability on the back of higher commodity prices,” Macfarlane said.

David Byers, MCA interim chief executive, cited mining’s contribution to taxes and services funding, particularly a $5.2 billion company tax increase since last December.

“The budget papers show that Australian business will contribute more than $100 billion a year in company tax payments by 2021–22,” he said.

“This highlights the fundamentally important role played by mining and the wider business sector in funding education, healthcare and other services that Australians rely upon.”

Both executives also stressed the importance of the budget’s emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) infrastructure, with Macfarlane calling the government’s $260 million investment into satellite technology as being of particular benefit to mine management.

Byers, meanwhile, called the science and research infrastructure investment “important new measures that will contribute to economic growth”.

He also affirmed his support for genuine economic reforms to drive growth and investment and and boost workplace productivity.