PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged that the Australian government needed to do more to provide a secure and attractive investment environment for global resources companies.
Opening the eighteenth liquefied natural gas (LNG) conference, in Perth, on Tuesday, Turnbull said that the federal government was working to reduce regulation, speeding up the process of environmental approvals, making the workforce more efficient and reducing production costs through skills and migration initiatives.
“We will continue to ensure that our taxation system encourages investment, entrepreneurship and job creation. And at the same time we will continue to ensure that every business - large or small - pays their fair share of tax in accordance with the law,” he said.
Furthermore, the Australian government was also “aggressively expanding” market opportunities through free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea.
The Trans Pacific Partnership was also expected to provide further avenues for growth, as it gave Australia access to another 11 nations across the Pacific.
“The resources and energy sectors have been, and will remain, at the very heart of our economy and our future,” Turnbull said, acknowledging that the industry was currently dealing with challenges caused by lower prices.
He noted that the industry had responded by innovating, being more efficient and increasing market share.
“And we, like you, know that we cannot afford to be complacent in capturing future resource investment opportunities. My government will continue to make Australia an attractive environment for investment, whilst ensuring the benefits are shared with communities and the environment is protected.
“The opportunities have never been greater for every Australian - living, working and investing in a world that is faster, more competitive, more technologically sophisticated than ever before.”
Turnbull pointed out that since 1989, when the Woodside-operated North West Shelf project delivered its first LNG cargo, the LNG industry had witnessed phenomenal growth, tied to the economic expansion seen in the region.
“And these trends will continue,” the Prime Minster said.
He noted that by 2021, there could be more than two-billion people in middle class households in Asia who aspired to not only the best in food, wine, travel and education but also the energy to power their new businesses and homes, with gas consumption in China expected to more than double by 2030.
“More broadly, Australia will provide about 40% of both China and Japan's LNG imports, and 25% of Korea’s by 2020. And our overall LNG exports will treble to around 75-million tonnes by 2020, making it our second most valuable export after iron-ore.
“Yes, the sector has had some pressure in terms of prices but Australia looks to the future with enormous optimism.”