Australia: Clayton Utz participates in global roundtable on energy and resources trends
Last Updated: 7 June 2013

An election year is a good opportunity for companies to highlight to the Government where improvements in efficiency can be achieved.

Energy and Resources partner Graham Taylor recently participated in a global online roundtable discussion with lawyers from a number of different jurisdictions to look at recent trends in resources investment activity and recent shifts in mining regulation and compliance.

With participants representing a diverse spread of jurisdictions across four continents, it was interesting to note some of the shared perspectives on increasing regulatory intervention, the importance of sound environmental and community engagement policies, and the need to drive productivity through new extraction technologies and supply chain efficiency.

Not surprisingly, participants from developing economies had a much more positive outlook on inbound investment flows into their regions, now and into the future.

Participants from both developing and developed jurisdictions noted the challenges facing industry participants operating in different jurisdictions in relation to political risk and regulatory red tape.

For the more mature markets such as Australia, the cost side of the equation is critical. Labour and transport costs are hot topics and likely to become more so in an election year. Graham commented:

"Costs in relation to labour and compliance with regulatory red tape are on the rise. Particularly in labour intensive industries, companies should consider flexible work arrangements and lobby for greater skilled migration in specific industries struggling to satisfy labour demand. While governments are likely aware of the regulatory burdens faced by specific industries, they are acutely so during an election year, such as the case in Australia – so it is a good opportunity for companies to highlight to the Government where improvements in efficiency can be achieved."

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