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New Ministry Congratulated

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) congratulates the ministerial appointments announced today by the Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott MP. The ministry sees strong experience appointed to key positions of interest for the resources sector and CME is pleased with the strong Western Australian representation in the new ministry.

CME urges the new Cabinet to waste little time in implementing commitments made during the election campaign.

“A focus on reducing the cost of doing business and increasing exploration activity needs to be a priority for the Government in order to enable the continued growth of the resources sector in Western Australia,” said CME Chief Executive, Reg Howard-Smith.

“CME is looking forward to working with the new Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane. As a former Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources in the Howard Government, Ian Macfarlane has a strong understanding and knowledge of resources sector issues. His consultative and measured approach has always been welcomed by the Western Australian resources sector,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

CME welcomes the appointments of Greg Hunt as Minister for the Environment and Andrew Robb as Minister for Trade and Investment. Working with Minister Macfarlane they have a clear mandate to reduce the costly and duplicated processes that exist within government.

“It is pleasing to see Western Australia strongly represented in the ministry with five new ministers in the Abbott Government. CME congratulates Julie Bishop on her appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator David Johnston as Minister for Defence and Senator Mathias Cormann as Minister for Finance, along with Michael Keenan and Senator Michaelia Cash for their roles in the outer ministry as Minister for Justice and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Issues and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women respectively.

This level of representation in key portfolios, should ensure a strong voice for Western Australian issues – including the particular concerns of the WA resources industry – in Canberra,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

CME looks forward to working with the new Prime Minister and his ministry to implement key policy commitments made during the campaign. Of particular interest to the Western Australian resources sector are the following Coalition commitments:

  • The “one-stop-shop” policy to help deliver more streamlined and cost efficient approvals. Establishing bilateral agreements for environmental assessment and approvals with the states and territories will avoid costly duplication by the Commonwealth reducing involvement on a project-by-project basis, and enabling a focus on more on strategic outcomes for biodiversity.
  • The abolition of unnecessary additional tax costs and compliance burdens targeting the resources sector such as Mineral Resource Rent Tax.
  • The implementation of an Exploration Development Incentive which will allow investors to deduct a proportion of mining exploration expenditure against their taxable income.
  • Establishment of an Industry Advisory Council for Resources and Energy.

Reducing the cost of doing business and strengthening our international competitiveness remain the highest order concerns of the resources sector – and are essential to enable the resources sector growth to continue to drive the state and national economic growth.

CME looks forward to working closely with the Prime Minister and the new ministry to ensure the Western Australian resources sector continues to be at the heart of national growth for Australia.