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Collaboration is essential for the future success of the resources sector. It is clear that industry, governments and academia need to work together to ensure the sector’s future success. A fragmented approach to our strongest sector could undermine its future competitiveness and see competitors with more cohesive approaches erode our natural competitive advantages.

Working with states and territories

Many of the actions that will drive the sector’s competitiveness over coming decades will need to be implemented in cooperation with states and territories. The government will work with states and territories through the COAG Energy Council for a revitalised resources agenda with a longer-term strategic focus and a renewed emphasis on collaboration to deliver better outcomes.

The COAG Energy Council resources ministers have agreed to pursue a strategic reform agenda based on five key strategic priorities that were also informed by the Resources 2030 Taskforce report’s reform agenda.

Those strategic priorities are:

  • Competitiveness
  • Exploration and new developments
  • Innovation
  • Communities
  • Workforce

To give effect to those priorities, the council will work together on six key actions, consistent with recommendations made by the Resources 2030 Taskforce and included in the action plan of this statement:

  • Establish a framework for the regular benchmarking of policies and regulation which will assess current settings and highlight best-practice across Australia and internationally. Jurisdictions will work together to decide the best way to approach the framework’s development, including the coordination of state, territory and federal regulation of the development of resources. This will support continuous improvement in our national competitiveness.
  • Put in place a collaborative new critical minerals work program to boost exploration and open up new basins and downstream value adding activities.
  • Develop a data strategy to improve the discoverability and utilisation of key geological, environmental and heritage data sets. This will de-risk investment decisions and help governments, industry and communities make more informed decisions, better prioritise research efforts and build trust.
  • Identify options to better leverage long-term cross-sectoral R&D to drive whole-of-sector benefits and meet the future economic challenges faced by the sector.
  • Work to improve community trust in the sector starting with a comprehensive evaluation of current community engagement and benefit sharing practices by industry, governments and other bodies to identify best-practice and information gaps. This will inform and guide future actions to secure stronger Australian communities.
  • The council will convene a roundtable with industry and academia to identify opportunities to boost tertiary and VET outcomes for the sector. This has been identified as a priority and if left unaddressed, will significantly constrain the sector’s potential. The council will work closely with COAG Skills Ministers to take forward proposed actions.

Working with industry and other stakeholders

The Government will work through the COAG Energy Council to establish a Strategic Resources Advisory Group with the expertise and authority across mining, oil and gas and mining services to provide strategic advice on opportunities and challenges to drive reform and promote the long-term national interests of the resources sector.

The group will consist of leaders from the resources sector and will work collaboratively across the sector and governments to drive a long-term strategic agenda.

The COAG Energy Council will develop an implementation framework for a Strategic Resources Advisory Group in 2019, which will be informed by the Resources 2030 Taskforce recommendation on the purpose of this group.

Without limiting what the group may look at, it will be asked to focus on:

  • Opportunities and longer-term challenges to meet our vision
  • Driving deeper collaboration between mining, oil and gas and mining services
  • Examining and helping to prioritise the sector’s long term R&D efforts including in environmental management, geoscience, exploration, innovation, technology and critical minerals
  • The future workforce needs of the sector