BHP president minerals Australia Edgar Basto, pictured in Moranbah, Central Queensland.
BHP president minerals Australia Edgar Basto, pictured in Moranbah, Central Queensland.

Mining giant calls on feds to boost regional investment

Regional areas such as Mackay and Central Queensland would be the big winners in next month’s budget if a mining giant gets its way.

BHP has made an unexpected stand-alone submission to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for the upcoming financial blueprint, which calls for a boost in investment to encourage nationally significant capital projects in regional areas.

“This will help bolster Australia’s next wave of investment, creating confidence, employment and supply chain opportunities – particularly in regional Australia,” the submission said.

The miner has also asked for the creation of a new federal skills program that partners with large employers across Australia to support the delivery of nationally recognised apprenticeship and traineeship programs.

Its third recommendation called for certainty that existing fiscal arrangements, including the fuel tax credit system, would continue to operate as intended.

BHP minerals Australia president Edgar Basto said as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia was well positioned to mount a strong economic recovery.

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“Taking this unique opportunity will require economy-wide co-operation on investment, skills and competitiveness to help Australia keep playing to its strengths in providing the commodities, services, and knowledge the world needs,” Mr Basto said.

“The strong partnerships between communities, industry and government that have helped us through the pandemic to date will be just as critical in the transition from response to recovery.

“The policy measures we have identified aim to benefit Australia through jobs, investment and economic growth, particularly in regional economies and communities.”

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