Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC

THE Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has cheered the election victory of Tony Abbott, saying the Australian mining industry is “on a path to return to international competitiveness”.
Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC Competitiveness to be restored: AMEC

AMEC CEO Simon Bennison.

Justin Niessner

AMEC chief executive Simon Bennison said the group looked forward to working with the government in implementing the various policy announcements made in the lead-up to the election, while pushing for initiatives contained in AMEC’s federal policy platform.

“Implementation of these various policy initiatives should result in increased growth and productivity, an increased revenue base from corporate and personal taxes and ultimately a reduction in the national debt,” Bennison said.

“By immediately repealing the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the clean energy future plan an indisputable message will be sent to investors and decision makers that Australia is open for business.

“It is imperative that reinstatement of the diesel fuel tax credit system to pre-carbon tax levels is included in that process.

“As the Coalition government has been provided a clear mandate to govern, AMEC anticipates that passage of repealing legislation for the carbon and mining taxes will not be opposed in the Senate.

Bennison said AMEC would also make efforts at constructive, proactive and consultative dialogue through the proposed resources industry advisory council and other processes in order to implement policy initiatives concerning:

  • Delegation of assessment and approval powers to accredited states/territories without compromising environment powers
  • Reviewing the current infrastructure regulatory and approvals framework and effectiveness of third party access arrangements
  • Reducing red tape and regulatory burden
  • Ensuring a fair and flexible industrial relations framework exists
  • Convening a high level forum to develop a long term native title strategy
  • Maintaining tax policies relating to immediate deductibility for exploration expenses
  • Supporting skilled migration programs.

“AMEC also looks forward to continuing its significant leadership role in implementing the Coalition’s exploration development incentive,” he continued.

“It is our understanding that this is based on the mineral exploration tax credit model submitted by AMEC to the then-government and the Coalition Opposition prior to the election.”

Last week, the Liberal party pledged to introduce a mineral exploration tax credit scheme that would allow investors to deduct the expense of mining exploration against their taxable income, as of July 1, 2014.

The plan will target small exploration companies and will allow the Australian Taxation Office to determine a proportion of expenses that can be claimed as tax credits by investors.

The incentive targeted at small companies is expected to help exploration stimulate the greenfield exploration sector, which has experienced a decline in actual metres drilled over the last 10 years despite one of the strongest periods of growth in the mining industry.

The scheme will be capped at $100 million over the forward estimates.