The Federal Government has delivered their 2018 budget, which forecasts stability and growth in the resources sector, but also highlights the imperative role the industry plays in the Australian economy.
Treasury is forecasting growth in mining exports of four per cent in 2017-18 and 6.5 per cent in 2018-19, while mining industry capital expenditure is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2019-20. The Government expectation is that by 2019-20, Australia’s mining exports will have roughly doubled since the start of the mining investment boom. This prosperity has a flow on effect for jobs and wages in the industry and is a welcome prediction for professionals in the sector.
Under the 2018 Budget, Geoscience Australia will receive a healthy $262 million over two years under the Australian Science and Technology Growth Plan, to overhaul satellite-based positioning and data provision services for Australian GNSS and spatial data users. This development in technology will not only supply mining sites with leading edge and precise equipment but has the ability to support and progress multiple sectors including agriculture. This highlights the profound contribution that skilled resources professionals, technology and innovation can make to the nation.
The Government has allocated $4.5 million over four years in the Federal Budget to encourage women to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and careers, a new and encouraging start to seeing more women in the sector. The funding will go towards formulating a Women in Science Strategy; developing and distributing STEM Choices resources kits to school-age girls; and ‘a decadal plan for women in science, to provide a roadmap for sustained increases in women’s STEM participation’.