Australia’s mining industry is urging new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to focus on economic and productivity reforms to help the struggling sector.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) says it looks forward to pursuing an “ambitious economic reform and productivity agenda” with the new Prime Minister. Its chief executive Brendan Pearson says Malcolm Turnbull has strong credentials as an economic reformer and understands the need to enhance the nation’s competitiveness. He also praised the “signal of continuity” on previous PM Tony Abbott’s climate, energy and emissions policies.

“The minerals sector looks forward to working with the new prime minister and his team to craft an ambitious economic reform and productivity agenda,” he says.

Ex-investment banker and barrister Malcolm Turnbull, takes office at harsh times for the global economy in general and Australia in particular. On top of a slowing economy, he is inheriting a country with the fastest-growing net debt in the developed world, a shrinking federal budget, and an entire generation of constituents who have only known economic prosperity.

The problems are so deep that PM Turnbull backed his whirlwind run for office on fixing them: “The big economic changes that we’re living through here (in Australia) and around the world offer enormous challenges and enormous opportunities and we need a different style of leadership,” he said.

Following the announcement of the PM’s new ministry, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) made the following statements:

“AMEC congratulates the new Ministers and Assistant Ministers on their appointments. We look forward to working with them to improve business and investment conditions for the resources sector,” said CEO Simon Bennison.

“Minerals exploration is at record lows and sourcing capital is extremely challenging for mid-tier miners and explorers. We must improve confidence and provide certainty for business investment decisions.

“AMEC looks forward to working with the new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and his new cabinet to refine the Exploration Development Incentive and take a whole of Government approach to new infrastructure developments to unlock stranded assets.

“AMEC congratulates the new Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, on his appointment. The creation of a new dedicated Resources and Energy portfolio is recognition of the significant role the sectors play in the Australian state, territory and regional economies.

“AMEC would like to thank the outgoing Ministers for their understanding, commitment and passion which have underpinned the growth of the industry.

“The industry would like to thank Ian Macfarlane, outgoing Minister for Industry and Science. Ian’s knowledge of the portfolio was extensive and unprecedented. We was very accessible as a Minister and responded to the concerns of industry,” said Simon Bennison.

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