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Inaugural COAG Resources meeting to focus on collaboration, investment and jobs

17 December 2018

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matthew Canavan will meet with counterpart State and Territory Ministers at tomorrow’s Resources Ministers Meeting as part of the COAG Energy Council in Adelaide.

This is the inaugural dedicated COAG Resources meeting. It is a direct outcome of recommendations from the Resources 2030 Taskforce which presented its report to Minister Canavan in August. 

 Minister Canavan said he looked forward to productive discussions with his state and Territory counterparts as they cover a range of issues relating to the future of Australia’s resources sector.

 “This is a starting point in developing stronger collaboration between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories to strengthen our performance in the resources sector,” Minister Canavan said.

 “A key discussion point will be development of a critical minerals work program in response to the huge range of industries which are rapidly changing because of their use in new technologies.

 “Critical minerals are a group of minerals considered essential for a nation’s economic and strategic security, and are vulnerable to disruptions in supply. They are necessary in manufacturing high-tech and high-value products including electric vehicles, battery storage, electronics, mobile devices, defence technologies, and other industrial applications.

 “Australia is blessed to have a wealth of critical minerals – including lithium, cobalt, graphite, vanadium, nickel, manganese and copper – opening up an exciting new future for our resource sector.

 “To make the most of this opportunity, we need to develop a critical minerals work program which pulls together all jurisdictions and enhances existing state-based initiatives. For example, the work program could focus on the exploration and development of deposits which straddle state and territory borders, as well as developing new supply chain opportunities.”

 Minister Canavan said the inaugural COAG meeting was a chance to map out more effective working arrangements between the Commonwealth and States and Territories.

 “Working together more effectively will boost productivity, create a more prosperous and competitive resources sector, attract more investment and support jobs for hardworking Australians,” he said.

 “We all know Australia is blessed with abundant resources such as coal, iron ore, natural gas and critical minerals and we lead the world in technological know-how and high quality products. On the flipside, we have several State and Territory jurisdictions, overlapping and standalone legislation and differing regulations depending on which State you are in. This needs to be fixed.”

 The COAG Ministers Meeting will see State and Territory Ministers give individual jurisdictional updates before moving on to the Strategic Reform Agenda, which will focus on issues including industry competitiveness, exploration, innovation and data, communities and workforce.

 Participants will also be asked to endorse a number of items including extending the gas supply strategy implementation plan, board appointments for the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and the review of the National Harmonised Regulatory Framework for coal seam gas. The meeting will also include a number of presentations from organisations, including the Resources 2030 Taskforce, Geoscience Australia and NOPSEMA.

 Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180