The South Australian Government has launched an energy and mining strategy which lays out the role of the industries in the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said the strategy, Building on our Strengths – South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy, is expected to deliver 25,000–30,000 additional jobs by 2030.

“This industry-guided strategy aligns with the ambitions of Growth State – Our Plan for Prosperity to harness nine priority sectors to drive sustained economic growth,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy underlines the strength and resilience of these sectors and highlights the major role they have in facilitating the state’s economic recovery.

“Some of the innovative programs launched in the past 12 months have been incorporated into the strategy, and emerging strengths and opportunities identified for future government attention.

“Central to South Australia’s future in energy and mining will be an even stronger investment in our clean energy transition and more modern, lower impact development of our natural resources.”

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said that the development and management of natural resources was critical in ensuring South Australia’s road out of the COVID-19-triggered economic downturn.

“Building upon the feedback from the consultation, a new $5.6 million investment will help new and expanding resource projects in South Australia by addressing issues around infrastructure and water,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“By establishing infrastructure corridors for priority regions, projects will find it easier to secure power, transport and water whilst reducing the environmental, cultural and financial impacts of duplicating infrastructure.

“The initiative will also expand our knowledge of groundwater resources in priority regions so that proponents can understand all their options in sourcing water sustainably.”

South Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Stephen Patterson, said the mining and energy industry will play a critical role in growing the state’s economy.

“South Australia’s 300 mines and quarries produced more than $5 billion in mineral sales in 2019, and we’re a nation-leader in renewable energy – and our ambition is growing,” Mr Patterson said.

“We have the drive and capability to grow this sector, and the Energy and Mining Strategy sets out a plan of how we’re going to get there.

“By working hand in glove with industry to propel these key projects, together we will take this sector to new heights.”

Mining and Energy Advisory Council (MEAC) Chair, Pauline Carr, welcomed industry’s inclusion in the process of designing a comprehensive strategy for the sectors.

“The State Government correctly identified energy and mining as one of nine priority sectors most likely to contribute to the pickup in activity,” Ms Carr said.

“The South Australian Government worked closely with industry and asked us to help shape its Energy and Mining Strategy.

“We have taken this opportunity to highlight to the government the areas within Growth State’s four enablers that would best facilitate an acceleration in economic activity in our sector.”

MEAC is the State Government’s principal industry advisory group for the minerals and energy sectors and meets regularly to inform the Minister for Energy and Mining on key issues facing business.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the state’s mining and energy industries have played a substantial role in the growth and prosperity of South Australia, and the Energy and Mining Strategy illustrates how they will continue to play a supporting role for years to come.

“This strategy has been carefully designed to leverage South Australia’s competitive advantages and identify and support emerging opportunities created by the creation of a modern energy system,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“Removing barriers and facilitating progress are key pillars of South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy and will help to focus resources and energies where they are most needed.

“This strategy also defines the scope of the energy and mining sector’s involvement in the state and suggests ambitious targets to encourage business confidence, attract further investment and address barriers to growth.

“Maintaining strong energy and mining sectors will be critical in ensuring our state and the wider Australian economy are well-positioned to pick up when the global economy recovers from this pandemic.”

APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said it was encouraging to see energy and mining recognised in the nine sectors identified by the SA Government as contributors to the state’s economic recovery.

“The government’s new energy plan highlights the importance of natural gas for SA’s economy.  We need ongoing investment as we move towards a cleaner energy future with modern, lower impact development of natural resources,” Mr McConville said.

“We strongly support the focus on improving the productive capacity of resource exporting companies and associated supply chains, as well as creating a modern energy system with innovation and technology to help meet Australia’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mr McConville said the government’s $48 million Plan for Accelerating Exploration for Gas (PACE Gas) has encouraged gas exploration and production through a competitive grants program, aligning with the Australian Government’s Gas Acceleration Program.

“We need to unlock exploration and development through further acreage releases, especially during the current economic challenges,” Mr McConville said.

“With the right policy settings, the industry in SA can play a vital role in supporting Australia’s economic recovery as outlined in APPEA’s recent blueprint Powering Australia’s Recovery.

“Australia has world-class resources reserves, including in South Australia, and developing these resources will provide stable, secure and affordable energy for Australia and export customers for decades to come.

“We are absolutely committed to working with the government to implement their strategy.”

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