WA’s resources sector named as Australia’s ‘bright spot’

Today’s pre-budget economic statement has confirmed the essential role that Western Australia’s resources sector has and will continue to play in underpinning Australia’s recovery coming out of COVID-19.

The figures released by the Federal Government showed that mining investment will increase for the first time in seven years, growing by 4 per cent in 2019-20 and an expected 9.5 per cent in 2020-21. 

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) Director of Policy and Advocacy Rob Carruthers said it was clear from today’s statement that the WA resources sector was the economic powerhouse of the nation.

“Our members’ efforts in continuing to operate during COVID-19 despite profound safety and logistical challenges has proved crucial to sustaining Australia’s economy during this pandemic,” he said. 

“Thousands of men and women have worked tirelessly across Western Australia’s mining, oil and gas industry to keep the resources sector operating safely during COVID-19. Their efforts will be critical to the economic recovery of our nation and we appreciate the sacrifices they and their families have made and the resilience they have shown. 

“With the ongoing support of the State and Commonwealth Governments, our focus coming out of COVID-19 is to continue to support safe operations, sustain jobs and invest in the community. 

“We recognise other segments of the economy are doing it exceptionally hard at the moment.  As an industry, we feel privileged for the support and cooperation which has been shared across the board.” 

After releasing the economic statement today, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that WA had been a strong aspect of the nation’s mining sector for so long and it was one of the bright spots, with mining investment improving.

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said WA’s resources sector had been an incredibly important sector underpinning the strength of the nation’s economy through the COVID-19 crisis. He added that much of the resilience of Australia’s economy through this period had been underpinned by the ongoing strong performance of the resources sector.  

Earlier this week, CME released a survey of 53 Western Australian resources sector companies, which revealed that the State’s mining, oil and gas, energy and contractor industries contributed more than $67.1 billion to Australia’s economy in 2018-19 and directly created more than 71,000 full-time jobs. 

“The survey indicated our member companies operating in WA contributed to more than 11 per cent of Australia’s corporate income taxes. Nationally, our sector also supported 311,796 full-time jobs through the purchase of goods and services from more than 20,000 Australian organisations,” Mr Carruthers said.