Resources sector welcomes greenfields promise

The Western Australian resources sector has welcomed election promises from Prime Minister Scott Morrison that would see greenfields agreements increase to up to six years for projects larger than $500 million.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) stated six-year employment arrangements applicable to new major projects known as greenfields agreements would bolster business investment and confidence and would particularly benefit the WA economy.

Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA stated that allowing employers and unions to negotiate longer workplace deals for major resources and energy projects is an extremely important policy that would create thousands of high-paid jobs in Australia.

AMMA has been calling for extended terms for greenfields agreements for well over a decade.

“It makes no sense that the maximum term for major project greenfields agreements is currently four years, when the construction of large-scale resources and energy projects can often exceed that,” AMMA chief executive officer Steve Knott said.

“Even a small increase to six years would make a huge difference to the international investment community that determines which nations they will allocate billions of dollars of major project capital.”

Knott said six-year terms for major projects “should be uncontroversial” and encourages the Federal Opposition, the trade union movement and other stakeholders to be considered in their response.

“Such agreements could have an inbuilt mechanism to ensure appropriate pay increases throughout the life of the project,” he said.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said allowing greenfields agreements of up to six years for projects larger than $500 million is a sensible reform that will stimulate new investment and jobs across Australia.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) director of policy and advocacy Rob Carruthers said it was encouraging to see WA mining and resources being recognised for the contributions it delivers to economies and communities around the nation.

“WA’s mining and resources sector is truly world-leading and it’s great to see that reflected in initiatives the Federal Government has identified it will embark on if re-elected,” he said.

“The plan underlines the significant contribution – or ‘chain’ as the Reserve Bank Governor refers to it – that directly links our sector’s export output and the nation’s economic prosperity.

“Foremostly, the mining and resources industry welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to no new mining or carbon taxes, and stability of fuel tax arrangements, under a re-elected Coalition Government.

“Further commitments to additional direct funding for WA’s emerging critical minerals industry – namely lithium and graphite processing projects – is also most welcome, while a $140 million investment across Pilbara and Kwinana hydrogen hubs will help accelerate large scale development of a nascent energy source that has the potential to be a huge part of efforts by a variety of industries to reduce emissions and reach net zero.”

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