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CME says Federal Government’s IR deal is deaf to industry, business and voter concerns

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) has expressed its disbelief in the Federal Government’s decision to press ahead with its Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023, despite industry calls for consultation on its far-reaching impacts.

CME Chief Executive Rebecca Tomkinson said CME had advocated consistently for a level-headed approach to the controversial Bill.

“CME’s position continues to be that the Bill needs to be withdrawn and substantially rewritten following genuine consultation,” said Ms Tomkinson.

“The Federal Government says it’s keen for Australia to seize the opportunity to provide the minerals and energy our country and the world need to decarbonise, and yet this Bill, once passed into legislation, is completely at odds with that objective.

“That becomes critical for some of WA’s regional areas, where the resource sector accounts for 20 to 40 per cent of total direct and indirect employment per region.

“The current pace and quantity of federal reforms across areas including climate, environment, tax and industrial relations is substantial, and without genuine consultation and careful implementation, these legislative changes risk investment and jobs in Australia.”

Ms Tomkinson said regulatory uncertainty and inefficiency created investment risk, which hindered Western Australia and Australia’s ability to take advantage of significant opportunities to continue to deliver the resources required for a green transition.

“Western Australia and our nation more broadly are poised to play a key role in the transition, with significant opportunities across the critical mineral value chain. A stable regulatory environment is critical to making sure we don’t miss out on the next wave of investment,” she said.