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Resources Industry Network

Resource Industry Network calls for METS SME support

Resource Industry Network is calling on all political parties to demonstrate their support of SMEs across the mining supply chain by backing initiatives that support innovation and digital transformation, address future skills, increase export capability, and align policies that remove unnecessary barriers to doing business.

Resource Industry Network general manager Dean Kirkwood said the value of the resources industry and its supply chain should not be underestimated.

The Mackay region’s resources sector alone injects $18 billion in economic contributions*, which equates to 73 per cent of the region’s total gross regional product, as well as supporting more than 82,000 jobs.

“The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is a renowned innovative METS hub servicing a global market. It has continuously demonstrated resilience when faced with adversity including weather events, pandemics, mining cycles, and even during times of war,” Mr Kirkwood said.

“Resources, and by default, the METS sector, has largely supported all levels of the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic and keeping the sector strong is critical to the future of Australia. The Mackay region is one of proven success and any investment put back into the area has shown to reap greater returns for government.

“With this in mind, we are calling on political parties to demonstrate their support of all parts of the mining supply chain so the resources sector can continue to thrive and contribute to the strength of the economy well into the future,” he said.

As a peak industry body representing those aligned to the resources sector, Resource Industry Network is aware that many SMEs in the supply chain require support in the following areas:

  • Incentives to adopt innovation and digital transformation to increase productivity and efficiencies, as well as maintain competitiveness;
  • Initiatives that educate and support SMEs on their decarbonisation journey;
  • Support around education and development of future skills, as well as the attraction of skilled workers both domestically and internationally;
  • Ongoing funding to grow and support the export capability of the region’s SMEs; and
  • Improvements to red tape that impedes mining approvals and the ability to do business.

Mr Kirkwood said innovation and digital transformation of the sector continued to change the nature of work in mining, which meant the development of skills was required to align with this shift.

“We are at a crossroads when it comes to labour shortages and a lack of skilled workers, and the position we find ourselves in has the ability to cause a ripple effect across many other facets of mining.

“As an industry driven by solutions, we are in turn looking for solutions from our political parties to address all of these critical areas in the resources supply chain and look forward to having these conversations with all parties,” Mr Kirkwood said.

* Queensland Resources Council’s Economic Contribution Data 2020-2021


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Resource Industry Network is the only not-for-profit member group representing the resource sector and allied industries within the Mackay region.

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