The South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy (SACOME) has called on the South Australian Government to end its ‘procrastination’ over resources development in the state.
The group said action is needed now to turn around the state’s current high unemployment rate.
SACOME’s chief, Jason Kuchel, said the state needed to take an active role in de-risking the billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure for resources, agriculture, and tourism, projects that are currently in limbo.
“Productive infrastructure not only creates thousands of construction job during development, but facilitates new projects that lead to more construction jobs and, more importantly, thousands of ongoing jobs for decades to come,” Kuchel said.
“And it is not just one or two projects that will be developed, but many new resources projects only just being contemplated and others not yet discovered that will lead to job creation for generations.”
Last year the South Australia mining industry provided around $295 million in royalties to the state economy, and spent around $651 million in exploration, providing around 11,900 jobs.
“The Weatherill Government has shown an excellent understanding of the current and future role of the resources industry in terms of South Australia’s economy, jobs and quality of life,” Kuchel said.
“The resources sector is highly cyclical and experiencing lower commodity prices right now but even at this point in the cycle, industry contributions are the foundations of our economy.”
Three major infrastructure projects are slated to boost the region’s mining industry.
A multi-user cape size vessel , a 275kV transmission line along the eastern flank of the Eyre Peninsula, and an upgrade of the Strzelecki track would enable efficient access to the Cooper Basin oil and gas area, and support industry growth, Kuchel said.
“The closing of Holden’s manufacturing by 2017 must not be allowed to send SA into genteel decline.
“We have the projects. We have the answers. Real jobs can be created.
“The government must take bold action to enable the sector to reach its potential and provide the jobs and revenue this State urgently needs,” he added.