JASON CLARE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT, RESOURCES AND NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
SENATOR KIM CARR
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR BRAND
LABOR TO KICK-START THE MINES AND MINING JOBS OF THE FUTURE
Labor’s Future Mines and Jobs plan will kick-start the discovery of new mines across the country, generating new jobs and providing a much needed economic boost.
Booming prices and volumes in some commodities have masked a serious issue – Australia is going backwards in global market share in commodities like gold, copper, nickel and zinc. Commodities where demand is going to increase significantly in the years ahead.
We need to do more to find the commodities of the future – the base and precious metals needed for the renewable energy economy, batteries in electric cars and to meet global demand for products like smart phones.
It is predicted, for example, the global copper production in the next 25 years will be larger than all the copper mined in world history.
Australia is blessed with the geological bounty to continue to lead the world. Despite this, two thirds of potential deposits remain undiscovered because they reside deeper than previous technology could explore. These places are the potential mines of the future.
The Resource 2030 Taskforce report says we need to better coordinate the work we are currently doing to find these deposits. It recommends an overarching body to bring all of this together.
That’s why Labor will establish the Australian Future Mines Centre, to co-ordinate exploration work and lead the scientific research and development necessary to explore under deep cover.
The Centre will be funded through a $23 million Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative, with input from the Australian Academy of Sciences and the sector. We will also encourage industry co-funding as part of the centre’s work.
The plan will also help deliver the mining jobs of the future, with $2 million to provide 100 scholarships to arrest the dramatic decline in mining engineering degree commencements.
And consistent with Labor’s commitment to equality for women of Australia, no less than 50 per cent of these places will be awarded to women.
We will also deliver a mining skills and workforce map to harness the opportunities in cutting edge technology like machine-learning and big data analytics.
We know the time between discovery and export potential can span decades, which is why we need to act now to build the workforce to discover the mines needed for the commodities of the future.
The Centre will also deliver on the need for an industry data strategy and explore options for innovation collaboration across the sector – key recommendations of the Resources 2030 Task Force Report.
Labor’s plan builds on our announcement last year to support battery manufacturing and hydrogen - to make sure we can develop the industries of the future here in Australia.
Labor commits to a Resource White Paper process, to deliver the long-term vision across Government for the resource sector and to ensure we capitalise on all the opportunities it can bring.
We’ve also announced a once in generation National Inquiry into Post-Secondary Education that will look at every aspect of the vocational and higher education systems, to ensure they can best respond to the needs of Australia’s economy and society.
WEDNESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2019