Government red tape hurts Australia’s ranking in leading survey

23 February 2018

Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria fell in mineral investment attractiveness according to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies for 2017 that was published today.

Western Australia fell for the third year dropping from 1st in 2015 to 3rd in 2016 to now 5th place on the Investment Attractiveness Index.  Over the last year, South Australia slipped back by one to 14th, Queensland fell to 12th, and the Northern Territory fell 7 places to 27th.  Victoria dropped 14 places to 71st in the world.  New South Wales rose to 46th and Tasmania improved to 50th in the world.

Western Australia’s decline was driven by the Policy Perception Index decreasing from 9th in 2016 to 17th in 2017.  This reflected increased concern over political stability, socioeconomic agreements/community development conditions, and the taxation/royalty regime.

The Northern Territory also has had a large decline in the Policy Perception Index score and rank, shifting to 33rd (of 91 jurisdictions) from 22nd (of 104) last year.  Respondents rated the legal system, infrastructure, and the availability of labour as deterrents to investment.

“The Fraser Institute Survey results reflect increased red tape, proposed royalty increases and regulatory uncertainty across Australia,” said Warren Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

“The geology has not changed, but government are damaging our investment attractiveness.”

“Tasmania and Victoria were the worst performing Australian jurisdictions at 50 and 71 respectively on the Investment Attractiveness Index.”

“Today’s report highlights that Australia’s mining and mineral exploration industry is not immune to the negative impact of regulatory and public policy uncertainty. Ultimately, if processes are duplicative, costly and slow, companies will invest in competing jurisdictions.”

“AMEC is advocating for regulatory reform, and the funding of exploration incentive schemes and co-funded drilling programmes to encourage greater mineral exploration and mining in Australia, and to generate significant economic returns for the economy,” said Mr Pearce.

Link to the Fraser Institute Survey here