Mining, oil and gas lobbies knock on Coalition’s door post-election

With the election done and dusted, and the Coalition handed victory, the mining, gas and oil industry lobbyists are getting ready to visit Canberra to talk about implementing changes to the industry.

And top on the agenda are simplifying the approvals processes, funding drilling exploration, industrial relations and pay, and abolishing the mining and carbon taxes, the ABC reports.

CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Export Association (APPEA) David Byers believes streamlining red and green tape in approvals processes should be as much a priority as the promise to abolish the carbon tax for the oil and gas sectors.  

“When it comes to approvals, we’ve been advocating quite strongly that we need to clear up the areas of duplication and inefficiencies between state and federal jurisdictions.

“So the ‘one-stop-shop’ announcement the Federal Government has made is a positive.

“We see that could mean the Federal Government delegates final approvals to the state governments under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), so the states discharge the requirements on the Federal Government’s behalf.

“Contrary to what some people have claimed, that does not mean any diminution of standards.”

The Coalition announced in July it would create a “one-stop-shop” for mining approvals if they were elected into government.

They said states would not have the final word on environmental approvals if it wins government.

Minerals Council of Australia chief Mitch Hooke said recently the project approvals problem has gone “from a major issue to a full blown crisis”.

The Association of Miners and Exploration Companies (AMEC) is looking forward to working with the new government on its tax credit scheme for exploration.

The Coalition made a pledge just days before the election to introduce the Exploration Development Incentive that would let investors deduct the expense of mining exploration against their taxable income.

AMEC CEO Simon Bennison is still confident the legislation will pass through even though Senate is now comprised of six different mini-parties.

“Fortunately, policy issues like the exploration development incentive (EDI) I would’ve thought would get the support of the Senate.

“I can’t see why this would be turned into a political football.

“It’s being done for all the right reasons to help with new discoveries, which has a direct consequence of improving GDP by about $2 billion at least. Also it will assist government revenue through royalties, corporate tax, stamp duty and payroll tax.”

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) is pleased with Coalition’s proposal to reverse the Labor Party’s industrial relations policies such as increased union contact with workplaces.

But executive director Scott Barklamb is not looking forward to going back to WorkChoices or large wage cuts either and is looking for a happy medium.

“The Abbott Government could double every Australian’s wages and give everybody a free puppy, and the unions would call it ‘WorkChoices’.

“We need to get past the idea that the only choice in our system in WorkChoices or the Labor model. That’s simplistic, it’s in fact bordering on childish,” he said.

The Coalition will reciprocate by sending new senators, federal ministers and Treasury officials to mines and oil rigs to become familiar with the industries they will be legislating on.

The Coalition and incoming mining minister Andrew Robb recently said it will “reboot” the mining boom, with the sector to get a confidence boost after the Coalition were elected to government.

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