The Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA), a collaboration of local governments from around Australia, has commended Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and his Government on the recent announcement of their commitment to establish a new Critical Minerals Strategy.
AMCA Deputy Chair and Mayor of Isaac Regional Council, Anne Baker, said she particularly welcomed the Government’s commitment to consult with community stakeholders.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to consult with Community Stakeholders in the development of the Critical Minerals Strategy is greatly appreciated and AMCA stands ready to assist the Government in this important initiative,” said Mayor Baker.
On Friday, Prime Minister Albanese announced the new National Critical Minerals Strategy would be developed in consultation with industry and community stakeholders, including traditional owners.
“Australia has some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals and a new National Critical Minerals Strategy will set out a clear vision for the sector,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the Strategy would complement other Government initiatives including the National Battery Strategy and the Electric Vehicle Strategy.
“The National Reconstruction Fund will include the $1 billion Value Adding in Resources Fund which will work alongside the $2 billion Critical Minerals Facility,” the PM said.
“These initiatives will expand Australia’s mining science technology capability, diversify supply chains, create local jobs and help drive growth in the critical minerals sector including rare earths – a key component of low-emissions technologies, such as batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels.”
Mayor Baker said the opportunity for Australia to be a supplier of natural resources, technology and manufacturing to satisfy the global needs to meet climate change objectives was “patently clear”.
“Government, industry and the community will need to work together to ensure that our nation secures its place in meeting global needs,” she said.
“That is why it is so heartening that the Prime Minister will consult with communities in doing so.”
Mayor Baker said consultation would need to be constructively and meaningfully inclusive of those who have the greatest stakes, even though they may be fewer in number.
“Commitment to the Traditional Owners is right and proper. Such respect for those who have undeniable rights is essential,” she said.
“We implore the Government to also respect the people who live in the communities that will be impacted by this major growth in mining for critical minerals.
“They will see their cities and towns change. They will have to accommodate the invasive effects of exploration. They will have to adapt to impacts on their infrastructure and their services as non-resident populations come and go.
“And ultimately they will have to sustainably support the mining operations that will change their communities for many decades to come, if not forever.
“All we ask is that the Government includes us in their consultation,” Mayor Baker concluded.