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​‘Project life’ agreements set to unlock jobs and investment

The Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA has described  the proposed Federal legislation for ‘Project Life Greenfields Agreements’, as a crucial industrial relations reform that will create jobs and economic growth by stimulating investment in the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors.

“AMMA has advocated the case for Project Life Greenfields Agreements for at least a decade,” Chief Executive Steve Knott said.

“The inability to secure industrial relations certainty for the full length of a major project construction phase has been a massive disincentive to investment in the past.

“Investors would often scratch their heads as to why greenfields agreements had a maximum duration of four years when applied to projects that take an average of six years to build. It makes no sense and is a very real barrier to securing final investment decision.

“This simple but important change will significantly boost Australia’s ability to secure new major project investment in the ultra-competitive post-COVID global marketplace.

“The resources and energy sector has displayed remarkable resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges. The Government is right to do all it can to present an attractive investment platform and stimulate growth in the industry keeping our national economy afloat.”

New growth cycle
AMMA notes the Federal Department of Industry’s Office of the Chief Economist last week released its Resources and Energy Major Projects Report, strongly indicating that investment in Australia’s resources projects has entered a new growth cycle.

The Chief Economist reported the number of resources and energy major development projects increased by 19 per cent to 335 projects, and the value of projects in the investment pipeline increased by 4 per cent to $334 billion.

“Once investment is secured and construction is completed, major resources projects deliver revenues of many billions of dollars to state and national accounts, funding public infrastructure and services, and supporting regional areas and businesses of all shapes and sizes,” Knott added.

“Project Life Greenfields Agreements is a no-brainer for helping convert this potential into realised investment, short and long-term jobs and economic benefits for the Australian people.

“This reform should be non-controversial given employer and union parties still need to negotiate on the terms and conditions of those arrangements, and the agreed timeframe for which they will run.

“This change simply offers the important ability to cover the full cycle of the life of a major new project construction, whether that is four, five or eight years.

“With the Federal Opposition indicating prior to the election it would support such a policy, we expect this job-creating reform to receive bipartisan support.”