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Resources Ministers discuss challenges to sector amid COVID-19

16 April 2020

Federal, state and territory resources ministers today agreed to maintain a coordinated, national approach to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the resources sector and to position it for a strong economic recovery.

Ministers met today by teleconference to discuss the current health pandemic. The focus was on the safety of resources workers and the communities in which they live and operate.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said it was important the sector worked together, particularly in the face of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“Ministers, government and industry are working together to not only tackle the challenges facing the sector today, but to position the sector to lead Australia’s bounce back in the months ahead,” Minister Pitt said.

“We will continue to collaborate and engage with businesses, communities and peak bodies to plan our recovery as the crisis continues to evolve."

Ministers also endorsed a COAG Critical Minerals Work Plan developed collaboratively to support the emerging sector.

“Australia is well positioned to capture growing critical minerals markets to generate new sources of growth in the resources sector,” Minister Pitt said.

“Australia is the world’s leading producer of three of the most sought-after critical minerals - lithium, titanium and zirconium.

“All are used in the manufacture of advanced technological goods and will be important to Australia’s ongoing importance in the international resources market,” Minister Pitt said.

Ministers also discussed the ongoing importance of the resources sector to economic prosperity and the domestic and international supply of energy. 

Ministers considered how jurisdictions could best support and expedite this economic recovery, consistent with the long-term strategic reform agenda that was agreed to in 2018.

They also:

  • endorsed the Onshore Gas Principles Guide
  • endorsed guidance to increase flexibility for offshore exploration
  • discussed reforms outlined in the draft Productivity Commission study of resources sector regulation.

“Our resources sector is world-leading – both in terms of economic output, and the environmental, workplace and community outcomes that it models,” Minister Pitt said.

“This positions it perfectly to compete, grow and thrive to the benefit of all Australians.”

The communique from the Resources Roundtable will be available at the COAG Energy Council website at www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au.

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180