It’s been an extremely busy July, with the annual publication of CME’s economic factsheets an early highlight.
Each year CME’s Industry Competitiveness team surveys and analyses a wide cross-section of member companies to gauge how much they contribute to the local economy. This year we had 65 member companies take part in the snapshot, which showed WA’s mining and resources sector contributed at least $83 billion directly to Australia’s economy in 2019-20, including nearly $52 billion in WA.
By also capturing supply chain spending by those 65 member companies, the factsheets demonstrate that every community in WA has people living there who work in our sector, plus local businesses who benefit from supply of goods and services to it. WA’s mining and resources sector supports one-in-six full-time jobs in our State.
I’d like to thank all the CME member companies who participated in this year’s research, and also the CME team members who worked hard to compile and distribute the data. You can read more about the factsheets in the Featured section of this newsletter.
I probably don’t need to elaborate too much on the COVID-19 front, as the news on it has been fairly non-stop over the past six weeks. Fortunately things seem to be trending the right way in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, but developments haven’t been so positive in Sydney and New South Wales. Our thoughts and hopes are with employees within our sector who have family and friends in NSW.
The uptake of vaccinations against COVID-19 is key to avoiding prolonged lockdowns in the future. CME continues to contribute to the Minerals Council of Australia’s efforts on the vaccination of our sector’s workforce and it has been made clear to both Federal and State Governments that our member companies stand ready to help with the vaccine rollout.
While community health and safety is the number one priority in relation to COVID-19, the pandemic has also brought into sharper focus the current and future skills shortages facing our sector. With international borders effectively shut for the past 18 months, the reliable overseas labour force we have historically used during times of need is not currently available to us.
I expect this situation to be a key point of discussion at the rescheduled WA Government Skills Summit this Friday. CME and other peak industry groups are keen to explore all avenues that would provide access to critical skills – including those in overseas markets – while also ensuring ongoing community health and safety.