The Western Australian Government has released a mineral and petroleum resources development strategy which focuses on capitalising on the state’s natural resources to drive a diversified economy, support the regions and encourage sustainable development.
The strategy includes policies such as investing in regional areas, co-funding exploration, streamlining approval processes, promoting entrepreneurship and investment opportunities feature prominently.
WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said these actions will ensure WA’s mining and petroleum industries continue to provide outstanding economic and social benefits to the community well into the future.
“The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring a best-practice regulatory framework remains in place to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of our state’s resources,” he said.
“We expect demand for WA’s minerals to continue to grow, driven by the global transition to a low carbon future and an increasing demand for electric vehicles.”
Outlined in the strategy, Western Australia accounts for 60 per cent of Australia’s total value of production and its output exceeds the entire production of some other significant producers including Canada, the United States, South Africa and Brazil.
In addition to substantial deposits of known resources, Western Australia’s leading position is supported by several key strengths.
These include advanced technical mining expertise, a skilled workforce, a world-class services sector, an enabling and robust legislative framework, and our proximity to key Asian markets.
The report further highlights that the exploration sector represents a significant industry in its own right.
In 2020, $1.7 billion was spent on mineral exploration and $379 million on petroleum exploration in Western Australia, representing 57 per cent of Australia’s total, and employed nearly 4000 people, many of which are based in regional areas.
Premier Mark McGowan said the state’s resources sector has grown to become not only the driving force behind Western Australia’s economy, but the national economy.
“Never has the importance of the sector’s economic contribution been so clearly demonstrated than in its response to COVID-19,” he said.
“The mining and petroleum industries’ success in trading uninterrupted through the critical early stages of the pandemic has allowed us to manage as well as we have the impact of the pandemic by continuing to provide needed jobs and revenue to support the community and keep us safe.”
McGowan further added it has also enhanced its global reputation as a reliable supplier, and this is set to position Western Australia with a significant competitive advantage as the world’s economy recovers.
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