The draft Productivity Commission report into resources sector regulation highlights the urgent need for better regulation of Australia’s minerals development to reduce delays, create jobs, attract investment and support regional economies and communities.
In preparation for Australia’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic later this year, a more robust, transparent and accountable regulatory system will strengthen the minerals industry’s ability to provide highly skilled, highly paid jobs and help the long-term recovery of Australia’s economy and society.
The report’s identification and criticism of duplication and poor coordination, inconsistent requirements, complexity and regulator capacity and accountability should come as no surprise given similar findings in multiple past reviews.
The MCA also supports the Commission’s finding that improved coordination, guidance and partnerships – not inflexible regulatory approaches – are the most effective way to enhance beneficial outcomes for host communities.
Regulation can be efficient and effective while safeguarding the environment, supporting the growth of Australia’s world-leading minerals industry and sustaining strong communities.
The implementation of many of the leading practice approaches highlighted in the draft report will help achieve these aims.
The Commission’s final report should signal to government the need to get on with long-overdue reforms to support a growing and sustainable minerals industry and a stronger Australia.